Nassau, Bahamas, February 15, 2022 – Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Island Family Affairs Hon. Clay Sweeting will speak at the inaugural Food for Summit and Expo in Dubai on February 23-24.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, HE Miriam Al Mheiri of the United Arab Emirates, who is also responsible for agriculture, invited the minister to speak and participate in a panel of world leaders on food security .
The Summit and Expo are expected to bring together more than 100 countries that focus on food security. It is organized in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Organization. The event is part of Food, Agriculture and Livelihoods Week at World Expo 2020.
The minister is expected to lead a 19-person delegation from various departments in his portfolio, including the Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority (BAHFSA), the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), the Bahamas Agricultural Industrial Corporation (BAIC), the Department of Agriculture and Department of Marine Resources among other ministry officials.
“We are looking to gain a lot of knowledge and interaction and hopefully explore opportunities to work with other governments to help in our fight for food security. We want to mingle with people not only around the world, but also people who have an intimate knowledge of how we can modernize the industry, see technology advancements in the sector and to really network with people who have taken on the challenges of food safety,” said Minister Sweeting. “We have a challenge with technology, modernization and the involvement of people in the sector.
We have seen that many farmers are adults and that there is no transfer of knowledge. We missed a generation or maybe two. We seek to engage young people and find ways for them to become successful farmers. »
Minister Sweeting also highlighted the global challenge of rapid world price inflation.
“A global challenge at the moment is pricing and smaller countries such as the Bahamas are significantly more affected than larger countries. I think it’s important that we grow where we live and that’s one of the main challenges,” he explained. “So if we’re able to grow here in the Bahamas, we’re able to tackle this global challenge of food scarcity and food cost as well.”
Minister Sweeting said he was keen to foster relationships with other countries for food security.
“Nothing is done as well as meeting people face to face. We develop relationships with people around the world in the industry and you can benefit from hands-on training in technology and a working knowledge of what we can do,” he said.
“Israel has done a wonderful job providing food for its people. Dubai is in the middle of the desert and they’re doing pretty well there, so we’re hoping to find a way to bring this technology back home.
Meanwhile, Minister Sweeting said the department is working feverishly to execute a national food strategy.
“We are working on it now and looking for something that would last for the long term. The Blueprint for Change has linked to what we are supposed to do there. The Christie administration’s national development plan also provides a 20-30 year plan of what we are supposed to do in all sectors, including agriculture. And so, we’re just building on that,” he said.
To free: Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources