Written by Susan Jackson JP MP
Government announced in the House of Assembly, confidential negotiations are taking place to invest in vertical farming. In June of this year, former Senator Vance Campbell announced in the Senate an estimated $38 million tax payer dollars ” is being evaluated for indoor vertical agriculture and solar farming.”
Without any public or farming industry consultation, the Bermuda Government ealier released a public statement “to allow Bermudians to invest in this entity so that they can enjoy the benefits of ownership of local food production.”
Opposition Backbencher, Susan Jackson, stated, “Again, no one is criticizing concern regarding food security or, “Government’s vision to create a nation of owners”, but where’s the public awareness and how is this project going to bring more overseas currency into the local economy? What’s the status of the Bermuda government’s current agricultural projects? The Redemption Farm? Or, almost 300 acres of unused government farm land?
Susan Jackson continued, ” There’s no transparency in negotiations and Government is expecting the local tax payer to foot the bill, whether as private investors or out of the public purse. Yet, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Wayne Furbert stated in his Nov 21st press conference, “For the past year the Government, through the business development unit, has been working with Aerofarms to design and implement a vertical farming facility in Bermuda.”
There are so many economic priorities facing Bermuda today. Feeding families and creating thousands of jobs. May I humbly suggest the Government work harder to be more transparent before committing what could amount to tens of millions of tax payers’ dollars to vertical farming when people are hungry now and need jobs now.