COVID-19 speaks yet again!

Dear Editor,

What will it take to drive Bahamians to the wealth of their heritage — land and sea?

I have heard about diversifying the Bahamian economy from the father of our nation since 1973.

We are about as dependent on tourism today as we were before we became independent.

Is that all the good Lord made these islands for — tourism, foreigners from the Caribbean and from China?

Seems like over the years we have become independent of our natural sustainable resources — sun, sand, and sea — as much as we have become dependent on tourism.

I have written over and over, and others have written and spoken about our sustainable economy, primarily agriculture and fisheries, for years and years ad nauseum.

We have “mastered” the sand figuratively in terms of tourism, but not literally in terms of aragonite, but have left the soil and the sea for two other nationalities to reap, or rather rape the rewards from.

It will certainly disgust me to repeat the refrain of my first and last visit to Cat Island. Traveling from north to south, I saw acres and acres of sweet potatoes, onions, cantaloupes, watermelons, soursop trees, banana trees, coconut trees, avocados, sugar cane, etc. But alas, only in my dreams.

I mentioned in an article about two years ago how I paid over $8 for one darn soursop in Bravo or El Presidente in South Florida. Could you imagine that? Better still, could you imagine the revenue from producing soursop alone?

The many variety of fish those stores sell, and not a darn one from The Bahamas.

Come on man — we een serious!

Why are we still importing pork, chicken, mutton, eggs, pineapples, even mangoes? Why? Lawd have mercy on we!

If COVID-19 does not wake us up, what will?

We are still, after producing scholars and scholars upon scholars, still primarily a service, hospitality based people? Tourism has stifled industry, or has been allowed to stifle productivity?

As much as I am so provoked to further elaborate, I will not yield to the temptation.

Hear the call, the sound, the invitation, the rebuke of COVID-19.

It speaks. Are we listening?

I done!

Love my country still,

– Dr. B.

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