NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, with Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), Golden Yolk, and other stakeholders held groundbreaking ceremonies for a farming initiative designed to attain national self-sufficiency in egg production. The ‘Golden Yolk’ egg production project will ultimately improve food security, lower import costs, assist farmers and increase employment opportunities. The groundbreaking took place Monday, February 27, 2023 at Gladstone Road Agricultural Centre (GRAC).
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis headed the list of dignitaries and participants. Also present were the Hon. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation; and Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs the Hon. Clay Sweeting who gave an address.
In his remarks, Minister Sweeting said through the Ministry’s partnership with BAIC, the project will usher the “revival” of egg production in the nation.
He described the initiative as a “contract agreement between farmers and the special purpose vehicle.”
He said, “Firstly, the project will see the construction of seven grow houses on New Providence that are turnkey operations. The special purpose vehicle will provide the building, the layers, vet services and other inputs. The contracted farmer will monitor and care for the investment. Upon production, the contracted farmer will sell all the eggs to the special purpose vehicle, who will deduct the cost of the inputs and pay profits to the farmer.
“The special purpose vehicle will sell the eggs to the wholesalers for distribution on every food store shelf throughout the country.”
In the second phase, there will be 15 grow houses in the south and central Bahamas, 23 grow houses in the northern Bahamas in phase 3 for a total of 38 houses in 12 Family Islands. He said egg production will grow from 700,000 to 28 million per year.
“A project of this magnitude will ensure that the eggs produced will completely reduce the reliance on imports. The Golden Yolk will have an immediate national economic impact, not just on food security, but on growing the economy.”
Minister Sweeting said through the initiative, an energy efficient, semi-automated, easy to maintain, climate smart poultry house will be constructed at GRAC.
He acknowledged BAIC’s Chairman, Leroy Major and the team at BAIC for their work in bringing the project to fruition.
Chairman Major said the aim of the Golden Yolk Egg Production Project is to promote the production and sale of quality and affordable eggs, reduce the import of eggs and make the Bahamas self-sufficient in eggs in the next 18 months.
He informed that a new animal feed mill will be constructed to support layer houses in New Providence and the Family Islands where layer houses will be in operation as this project is in progress.
Chairman Major thanked the team at BAIC including Troy Sampson, General Manager; Justin Sturrup, Lead Consultant; Justin Taylor, Jerad Darville, Dundas Munning and Otaine Woodside for their contribution to the project to date.
Also present were other Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries; Permanent Secretaries; representatives of international partners and government agencies, members of BAIC board, teachers and students, farmers and community and civic minded individuals. The police band provided entertainment.
Following the programme, dignitaries donned hard hats and used ceremonial shovels to broke ground at the site in celebration of the start of the project.