Growing Alliances is currently focusing on Andros and Eleuthera Islands in the Bahamas.  The Bahamas imports approximately 80% of its food resources, making them particularly vulnerable to rising food costs and global food issues.  Farming in the Bahamas is not like farming on the grasslands of Kansas.  Most of the ground in the Bahamas is limestone rock, with minimal soil and little nutrients. Combined with heavy insect and disease
SAM_4018 pressure, the growing environment is difficult at best. Commercial agriculture in the Bahamas currently relies on the heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides,all of which need to be imported and have a negative impact on water quality, biodiversity, and human health. The limestone rock and soil is highly permeable and chemicals easily leach into the freshwater lens below, which is the water supply for all agricultural, industrial, and domestic uses.  The agro-chemicals also leach into surrounding waterways, impacting the biodiversity and health of fisheries and other natural habitats.

 

It is time for a new agricultural paradigm in the Bahamas, one that promotes the sustainability of island resources, the local economy, and community health.

 

SAM_3778Andros, the largest island in the Bahamian Archipelago, is steadily becoming the epicenter of agriculture in the Bahamas.  Andros has a large fresh water lens and is home to one of the world’s largest barrier reef systems, both of which are particularly vulnerable to pollution from agro-chemical use.  By maintaining  traditional Bahamian farming techniques while adopting newly adapted sustainable approaches, Andros farmers will create a shift towards diverse, self-reliant food systems that will strengthen their local economy.

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Eleuthera Island is also home to a large farming community.  With an already growing awareness of environmental issues present on the island, Eleuthera Island has the opportunity to be a leader in the shift towards sustainable farming initiatives in the Bahamas.

Growing Alliances enables Bahamian farmers and citizens with access to the necessary information and resources to grow food sustainably and create a more localized food economy.  These actions will also enhance the vitality of other industries in the Bahamas, primarily tourism and fisheries.

Thanks for your support!