Bermuda: Vertical farm plans still uncertain

A Government minister remained tight-lipped when questioned about progress on several flagship projects. Wayne Furbert, the Cabinet Office minister and also the acting public works minister, faced questions on the developments as he gave an update on island-wide roadworks during a press conference on Thursday. But he refused to provide any details.

The Royal Gazette asked for an update on a proposed vertical farm that he first trumpeted more than 14 months ago. Mr. Furbert announced in November 2020 that the Government had been working with US firm AeroFarms to “design and implement a vertical farming facility in Bermuda”. He said at the time that parties were “finalizing the plans for the development and financing of a purpose-built facility”.

The Government issued a Request For Information in March last year to determine if other companies were interested in setting up a farm on the island. But ministers have remained silent on the development since, despite repeated requests for updates. Mr. Furbert said: “I will bring the public up to date in due course regards to vertical farming. Discussions and doing our due diligence are still going on.”

Mr. Furbert was also short of answers when he was quizzed about the progress of a new arbitration center. The project was unveiled by Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, in July 2020. Colonel Burch said at the time: “The details of the financing of this project is the final hurdle – the term sheet is still being reviewed by the Ministry of Finance and as soon as we get the green light, the financing specifics of the project will likewise be reported. We anticipate an early response that will lead to construction beginning in December 2020 and delivery of a complete building 15 months later in March 2022.”

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