by Larry Smith
Opening the newspaper this week I was confronted with a huge load of BS.
American food store operator Sandy Schaefer (who closed his loss-making Robin Hood outlet on Harrold Road just a year ago), is now on a mission to re-open in the same location under a new name.
That in itself would be curious enough, but there's more. Schaeffer says his new store will be able to cut food prices by 20 to 60 per cent, due to his new purchasing contacts in the US combined with "vertical control" of his supply chain.
What does the latter mean? Well, Schaeffer is pursuing a $1.5 billion agricultural development on Andros, that he says will make the Bahamas self-sufficient in an entire range of foodstuffs, including meat. The project will supposedly generate $2 billion in revenue and employ some 10,000 people.
This is reminiscent of a 2008 proposal by developer Tony Joudi to grow corn on hundreds of thousands of acres throughout the Bahamas. He wanted to clear our remaining forests so we could make ethanol to run our sport utility vehicles on our over-congested roads.
And you may recall the proposal three years ago to hand over 5,000 acres of prime land on Abaco to the Chinese to grow vegetables, fruit and livestock while operating a cannery, processing plant and abattoir. A Chinese team actually visited the site back then, but nothing has come of it so far.
A few years earlier, someone suggested a cock-eyed scheme to grow rice in the brackish mangrove wetlands of Andros. And believe it or not, that idea has recently resurfaced - along with Cuban experts said to be working with the government to set up another farming school in the Big Yard.