Good day students of Seminole Central High school. I am Mr. Lester Johnson , the proud owner of the Everland farm located on Johnson Road right here on the island of Long Island. I firstly became involved in farming when my parents and grandparents would take me to our farm on most weekends to help out by doing various duties which included collecting the chicken eggs, milking the cows, and feeding all the animals. I eventually came to realize that farming was the perfect source to support myself and my family but over the years it has grown to more than just that.
As a farmer I have been able to not only aid in the accommodation of the key necessities for the residents of the Bahamas but I have also subsidized to the deterioration of the five million dollar import deficit (reported by The Guardian in 2012). I have so for been a farmer for the past twelve years and in this business owned a commercial farm. Commercial farming is farming that provides products for sale and subsistence farming provides enough food for the farmer and his family but not enough for sale (both derived from Dictionary.com). In order to become a farmer the land in which you plan to grow on must first be acquired, the products that you plan on rearing whether it is livestock or crops, workers and machinery must also be in place.
Farming has facilitated the job market of the Bahamas as it is able to hire individuals such as Naturalist, Food Chemist, Food Technician and Irrigation Engineer. As a mean to support farmers with the many expenses the government has provided them with some incentives these include the exemption from customs duty on specific items and the reduction of duty on specific items, the store credit program, small business loans and the exemptions of water use charges. An incentive is something that motivates or encourages someone to do something (stated by Oxford Dictionary).
One of the premier initiatives provided by the government was the exemption and reduction on the Bahamas custom duty for specific items, this was an incentive put in place to let farmers pay little to no money on imported materials, machinery and requirements needed for quality crops and livestock. An exemption is the process of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others (Dictionary.com). The exemption of customs duty would assist farmers in numerous ways, customs duty is a payment levied on the import, export, manufactured or sale goods (Oxford Dictionary). By being concluded from such a charge we farmers will not only be able to hire more adept experienced workers such as much needed agronomist but also use money not spent on the expenditure of their farms. We are given incentives on products such as hatching eggs and livestock and cattle which would exert or give other farmers the opportunity to venture into different crops.
Farmers do not have to deal with various charges on farm equipment and machinery such as harvesters, materials used for the construction of green houses and feeding systems as the immunity lowers the cost on imported machinery. This has reinforced the government by causing them not to target so much on import and export bills because farmers like me would be able to have more of the crops that we used than to waste money on importing which will result in a lower cost on crops, allowing the money to continuously be pumped back into the economy. The exemption of customs duty on varied items for local farmers will not only assist in boosting the Bahamian economy but the farming industry as well.
The government has then accommodated the initiative of stores on the credit program like farm and fish stores, farming input such as seed and fertilizer which concedes farmers to be paid prior to the crops being produced. They are given a credit of out of a certain lump sum of money for every acre of land that they own. The credit system is a system which allows workers to be paid before their work begins (Dictionary.com).The farmer would use this money to aid the outlying cultivation and development of his farm, as did I quiet some years ago.
To be eligible for such a program a farmer must be a resident of the Bahamas and they must fill out an application at the Ministry of Agriculture. This initiative has assisted me as a farmer because the advances given to me can go towards the prosperity of my farm like crops, seeds, machinery and it also assists with the salary of my workers. It may also support other farmers as well as those in the future because it allows them to understand that they will be aided in the effort of marketing their farms.
Farmers have endured difficulties in apprehending a start-up capital for their businesses. Small business loans are one of the other initiatives that the government has put in place to optimize the growth for these small businesses, as farmers are provided with small business loans. A business loan is a bank loan granted for the use of a business (Dictionary.com). These business loans have assisted farmers in a profuse amount of ways which includes start-up capital to help advocate a healthy business start, this in itself will get farmers on the right track. At this point they will be able to start bringing forth crops and livestock for sale, shaping it to be much easier for farmers to pay off their loans.
They can then buy materials such as freezer units and make marketing investments where as they can magnify the chances of their products being sold to local and foreign investors. This initiative has helped me because I was able to make a much needed expansions to my farm which allowed me to hire more laborers therefore contributing to a growing economy. The money for labor can also contributed to by these business loans. Small business loans have been helpful and will continue to strengthen our economy and upcoming farmers.
The last initiative that I will speak about is the government exempting farmers of a water use charge this simply means that I do not have a water bill to pay on my farm. A charge is the amount of money asked for something that is for sale or available as a result of payment (Encarta Dictionary). This by itself has assisted me and farmers alike exceptionally because we no longer have to confine the amount of water we use on our crops or give to our animals. This allows farmers to put in place more irrigation systems due to the fact that they would no longer have sparing water bills to worry about and now have a more suitable opportunity to focus more on the farm work.
This can also chip in to manage crops as the soil is treated better regard and thus will result in the better the quality of the crops. This can administer jobs because crops will be produced in a shorter time period. I have indubitably benefited from this in numerous ways, one being that I appreciated that most of my laborers no longer have to be limited to one job or duty, but I can place them in different work areas. The exemption has assisted farmers enormously over the years and will pursue to do so in the future to aid aspiring farmers.