The world’s number two cryptocurrency exchange FTX Digital Markets has donated $1.1 million to the newly formed Agricultural Development Committee, which plans to immediately inject $700,000 into education and tools for farmers and to begin a study on agriculture in The Bahamas.
Philip Smith, executive chairman of the committee, said yesterday during a check presentation with FTX that for the first three months the new group will gather consultants in the agricultural sector and figure out where the country has gone wrong in trying to produce its own food.
“The first three months, the plan is to carry out research,” said Smith. “We want to get it right and so we have $700,000 set aside from the $1.1 million for the farmers, whether that’s education, technology, or tools.
“The first three months we want to find out why hasn’t agriculture been successful so far. We want to be come educated first on what it is that we need to do, what direction do we need to go so we can get it right.”
Smith, who has been a long-time advocate for the eradication of hunger in The Bahamas as the former executive director of the Bahamas Feeding Network, said 20 percent of this country’s population struggles with hunger in some form or another.
Vice President of FTX Valdez Russel said addressing issues of food insecurity are amongst many initiatives the company hopes to contribute to in The Bahamas.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Salame said FTX promised to be a responsible corporate citizen and is investing in that promise.
“We’re very excited to be here and be a responsible company coming into The Bahamas and giving back to the best of our ability,” said Salame.
“We look forward to continuing to do that both through the agricultural committee and other initiatives that we’re working on.”
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources Leonardo Lightbourne said it is his hope that the donation by FTX will help to ensure that agriculture becomes a more attractive sector to the younger generation, as the country tackles the problem of food sustainability.