The new 12,000-square-foot cultivation center at the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre (GRAC) is 90 percent complete, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting said on Friday.
This cultivation center is expected to house food processing kitchens, a produce exchange, office spaces, and will be a general resource for food production in The Bahamas.
Sweeting said during the Office of the Prime Minister’s weekly press briefing, that the GRAC cultivation center is expected to be completed this summer, and will lead into a groundbreaking for a cultivation center on Eleuthera.
“This summer, we’ll be able to break ground on the one in Eleuthera,” Sweeting said.
“Currently, at GRAC we continue to receive animals to distribute to farmers throughout The Bahamas.
“Earlier this year we received 260 sheep and goat for distribution and to also build capacity at the Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre.”
He added that a new feed mill should arrive in the country in six to eight weeks, and will then be installed at GRAC.
Sweeting also gave an update on the Golden Yolk program, explaining that his ministry recently received 4,000 layer chicks that are being distributed to farmers across The Bahamas.
“We continue to increase our focus on farmers and ensuring that they have the tools and access for much needed inputs to help grow their farms,” said Sweeting.
“The government of The Bahamas has approved the investment of more than $15 million towards the (GRAC) projects. And we will also see the construction of six grow houses in New Providence and 38 on the Family Islands.”
The Golden Yolk program is expected to move the country’s egg production from 700,000 eggs per year to 28 million, once the full program is complete.
“One thing I would like to say is that we are happy with the response from farmers who are eagerly, eagerly looking forward to working along with us in the Golden Yolk program,” Sweeting said.
“And this project, which will be carried out on 12 Family Islands, not just New Providence; will include Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini, Berry Islands, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, Cat Island, Salvador, Long Island, Ragged Island and Inagua.”