Digitization Unit established at the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources to enable farmers and fishermen to easily access services

Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Jomo Campbell.
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Nassau, The Bahamas — As the government advances its objective of increasing efficiency and ensuring the ease of doing business for clients both locally and internationally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources is doing its part to meet this goal.  Consequently, a new Digitization Unit has been established within the Ministry.  During his contribution to the 2024/25 Budget Debate, Minister Jomo Campbell said it is an attempt to ‘break the status quo’ by bridging the gap for its valuable clients with the provision of various online applications for permits, licenses and registration.

Minister+of+Agriculture+and+Marine+Resources, Jomo Campbell.

“My ministry has a total of 29 services launched overall. The Department of Agriculture has 13 online services. The Department of Marine Resources has 14 online services and the Ministry, two online services,” said Mr. Campbell.  “The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources can boast of having the most services on the MyGateway Platform and we are actively looking to provide additional online service offerings in the coming months.”

He said that the hardworking men and women in the farming and fishing industries, as well as local businesses and the general public, now have a convenient way to access the services they need to operate and succeed and we are happy to serve them.

“Currently, we have processed over 11,000 applications made online and almost $116,000 in revenue received, which represents fees associated with permits and licenses,” noted the Minister.  “New Providence, Abaco and Grand Bahama account for the majority of applications submitted for Agriculture Import permits, but we are hoping to see a significant uptick from the other Family Islands as we endeavor within the coming months to foster greater public awareness.”

He said that the digitization of the Ministry’s entire manual file records will serve to digitally capture information in the business units’ internal registries and provide greater efficiencies for collaboration and accountability.  It will also automate the workflow of business processes relative to approval for key transactions and decision making.

The new ‘Digitization, Legal, Compliance and Planning Unit’ he said will seek to ensure that all legal matters, amendment to existing laws and regulations as well as disputes related to the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources are followed through expeditiously and in direct consultation with the respective divisions within the Office of the Attorney General’s Office.

The Minister explained that the adoption of compliance management oversight is ‘critical’ to maintain public trust while delivering key services within the Ministry and incorporates developing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulations, conducting audits and implementing corrective actions where necessary, in accordance with stipulated policy and law.  He said that it also entails educating and training employees and stakeholders about their responsibilities related to compliance.

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