Paving the way toward food security and the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector are major focuses for the Bahamas Government. As it stands, The Bahamas spends millions of dollars annually on food imports.
But, hope is on the horizon.
On July 16, Gary Russell of the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Research Institute (BAMSI) held a recruitment drive in the Office of the Prime Minister’s Conference Room on July 16 for those on Abaco interested in attending the institute in North Andros.
Russell explained that they are just on the threshold of starting their campaign, and the purpose of his visit was to raise more awareness regarding the institute. In preparation for BAMSI’s opening in September, they have compiled a database of applications in the range of 75-80 people but plan to have approximately 55 people in their initial enrollment.
BAMSI will offer Associate of Science degrees in Agriculture, Marine Science and Aquaculture as well as diplomas and skills certifications in Agriculture, Marine Science and Aquaculture.
“BAMSI is new, it’s exciting and it is something that promises a whole lot for the country particularly in the agriculture sector,” Russell boasted.
Additionally, BAMSI will offer research-based activities; hands-on training in fields such as crop and livestock production, farm management, environmental conservation and marine resources; and it will house an arboretum and a tutorial farm.
He added: “We are expecting to open a school under the umbrella of The College of The Bahamas. While we are independent, we are using them because they exist, and they are assisting us with the curricula.”
Total cost will be underwritten by the Government of The Bahamas, so applicants attend the institute free of charge. Applicants are required to have a minimum of five BGCSEs – three of which should include Math, English and one of the Sciences (Biology, Physics, Agriculture, Science or Chemistry).
For those already accepted into The College of The Bahamas (COB) under any of the science programs, there is an automatic acceptance, and special considerations will be evaluated by the selection committee.