Beekeepers on the island Grand Bahama who were severely affected by Hurricane Dorian In 2019, have received US$20,000 from the government to help rebuild their apiaries.
This was announced by Senator Kwasi Thompson who also approval has been granted for full renovation and upgrade of the Ministry of Agriculture Building in Freeport, to accommodate the Grand Bahama Beekeepers Cooperative Society and its members.
According to Thompson, the apiary owners suffered major devastation when the storm hit in September 2019 and destroyed beehives and products.
“That was a major set back for the young entrepreneurs, and the government has decided, through the Office of the Prime Minister, to provide a small business grant for $20,000 for the Beekeepers Cooperative Company because we recognize a number of these young people, with individual businesses, were part of the cooperative,” Thompson said.
He added that the government is also providing a location at the MOA Building to house the cooperative.
Meanwhile, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister Michael Pintard said they are also considering making land accessible to apiary entrepreneurs.
“The MOA has made several commitments with respect to the Apiary industry. We fully intend through a lease arrangement to enter into an agreement with the Apiary association so they will able to set up their operation,” he said.
According to Pintard, the government is also ensuring that these and other local Bahamian producers are supported by the local business community.
“We encourage members of the tourism sector to embrace products being produced. Government has recently agreed that 40 percent of all agricultural products that are going to be sourced by wholesalers, retailers, hotels, and other agencies presently importing those items, they must now get 40 percent of those from local producers in terms of honey products, as well as non-food agricultural products, must come from Bahamian producers,” he said.