The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) took a significant step towards enhancing agricultural education and support in the Family Islands with the grand opening of its Extension Office in Kemp’s Bay, South Andros on Friday. BAMSI Executive Chairman Senator, the Hon. Tyrel Young, expressed his optimism for the impact this new facility will have on the local farming community and the broader agricultural landscape.
“Our hope is that this Extension Office will grow to symbolize BAMSI’s commitment to the growth and prosperity of our Family Island
communities,” stated Mr. Young during the inauguration ceremony. “We recognize and support the hard work of the farming community here, and our goal is to empower Bahamian farmers to develop their entrepreneurial ventures, implement best farming practices, and
ultimately build a sustainable industry. Today, we strengthen our commitment to support and empower our agricultural community.”
Mr. Young emphasized that agriculture is not just an economic sector but a way of life that connects Bahamians to their roots, traditions, and identity as a people. The BAMSI Extension Office will serve as a knowledge and innovation hub, bridging the gap between local farmers
and the resources they need to thrive. Experts from BAMSI will collaborate closely with farmers, sharing best practices, providing access to the latest research, and addressing the unique challenges faced by the agricultural community.
Also on hand for the opening was the Hon. Leon Lundy, Member of Parliament for Mangrove Cay and South Andros, members of BAMSI’s
board of directors including well known environmental activist Pericles Maillis and Ms. Patrice Green, an Education Officer with the Ministry of
Education. Winner of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Prime Minister’s Female Youth Farmer of the Year Agrarian Award Frederica Dames was
also on hand. Ms. Dames, the Valedictorian of BAMSI Class of 2021, played an important role in planning the festivities surrounding the
South Andros, known for its diverse agricultural and marine opportunities, from traditional crops to flats fishing and sponging, stands
to benefit significantly from BAMSI’s presence. Mr Young outlined BAMSI’s vision for the community, stating, “Our goal is to create a
resilient and sustainable agricultural sector that can withstand the challenges of climate change and market fluctuations. We will invest in
infrastructure, provide access to modern technology, and promote responsible land management to ensure that South Andros develops
into a beacon of agricultural excellence.”
Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, President of BAMSI, emphasized the Institute’s commitment to food security and sovereignty, capacity
building, and creating opportunities for economic growth through educational empowerment. She underscored BAMSI’s role as the
premier tertiary institute for agriculture and marine sciences, both nationally and internationally.
“As the premier tertiary institution for agriculture and marine sciences and related disciplines in this country and beyond, the Institute has
definitely answered the clarion call to provide relevant technical education and training in these fields,” Dr. Roberts-Hanna said. “Our
degrees and programmes are registered and approved by NAECOB (National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas) and
are internationally recognized and accepted. Our credits transfer. We are also an approved City and Guilds center and SAT testing center.”
Dr. Roberts-Hanna highlighted BAMSI’s initiatives, increased national presence, international partnerships, and capacity-building efforts
through training and educational programs. She also praised the institute’s ability to reduce the country’s food import bill, inspire others to
join the discipline, and provide an affordable, nutritious, and sustainable food supply.
BAMSI’s Extension Office in South Andros is set to become a vital resource for the local community. Dr. Roberts-Hanna expressed
confidence in the dedicated staff and their ability to make a positive impact. She also pointed to Ms. Dames as an example of the Institute’s
According to Mr. Lundy, the opening of BAMSI’s Extension Office in South Andros was significant because it represents the community’s
collective dedication to nurturing local talent, preserving natural resources, and creating a sustainable future. “It signifies our belief in the
potential of our community members to be the driving force behind the growth and prosperity of South Andros. With the doors of this office
officially open, we encourage each and every one of you to step inside, to explore the educational pathways that BAMSI offers, to seek guidance and support, and to envision a future where the fields of agriculture and marine sciences flourish in our beloved South Andros.
Mr. Lundy encouraged community members to remember that education is the cornerstone of progress. “The knowledge gained here,” he said, “will not only empower individuals but will also contribute to the overall development of our community. It is through education that we can harness the full potential of our land and sea, ensuring that they continue to sustain us for generations to come.”
The launch of the BAMSI Extension Office in South Andros marks a significant milestone in BAMSI’s mission to empower Bahamian
agriculture and promote sustainable practices, with a focus on the Family Islands. The office is expected to become a beacon of support
and education for local farmers and the broader community.
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