On the heels of the launch of the Golden Yolk Project, The Bahamas Development Bank (“The Bank” or “BDB”) and The Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation (“BAIC”) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further their relationship when it comes to agricultural development in The Bahamas. As a part of the MOU, both organizations will collaborate to support national economic development.

The Bank and BAIC have been long-time partners, working on sustainable development for the country and this MOU will strengthen that partnership, as they work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and focus on development in the orange green and blue economies.

“Over the years, BDB and BAIC have formed a strategic alliance, and worked on many projects that furthered the mandates of both organziations as well as strengthened the agricultural economy throughout the archipelago,” noted Senator TheHonarable, Quinton C. Lightbourne, BDB Chairman.  “The signing of this MOU will formalize this relationship as we continue to work to increase capacity, as well as provide opportunities in the green sector for those in New Providence as well as marginalized groups in our family of islands.  “As Chairman of The Bank, one of my personal goals is to ensure that everyone in The Bahamas has equal access to opportunity, and I truly believe that this MOU and our strengthened relationship with BAIC will work toward achieving that.”

The Bank is mandated under the 1974 BDB Act, to promote industrial, agricultural, and commercial development through financing and investing in approved enterprises; and BAIC’s mission is to stimulate and encourage the expansion and promotion of domestic investment through small and medium sized businesses, thereby facilitating employment and import substitution.  As such, this ongoing partnership meets both The Bank’s mandate and BAIC’s mission.

Currently, BDB is supporting BAIC with the Pine Island Sustainable Livelihoods Project, where BAIC is the executing agency.  Through this project, the Cascarilla industry in Acklins will be developed, whereby Cascarilla can be cultivated, harvested and processed in Acklins.  Cascarilla is a sustainable industry which can provide livelihoods for residents of Crooked Island and Acklins for years to come.

Mr. Major said “this is groundbreaking as BAIC has land throughout the Bahamas but doesn’t operate as a funding agency. The Partnership allows the Bahamas Devlopment Bank to lend funding to business ventures from BAIC of an Agricultural nature with ease. It will add to the small business sector thus greating more jobs and benefiting the local economy.”

As a part of the MOU, BDB and BAIC agree to cooperte to stimulate equitable, inclusive, sustainable growth by carrying out activities under each of the madates in alignment with the National Development Plan and the SDGs. Both organizations are committed to supporting agricultural growth and sustainable development throughout The Bahamas and this MOU is evidence of their cooperation to achieve the above.