Categorized | Business, National News

PM Encourages UWI To Assist With BAMSI

Prime Minister Perry Christie gave a charge to the executive governing body of the University of West Indies (UWI) explaining to them that he should not have to seek advice on projects such as The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) from universities outside the region.

“The University of the West Indies as the premier regional institution should be front and centre in this interchange,” he said on Friday.

“I should not have to look to the University of Florida or the University of Miami alone for the expertise to develop some of our own institutions. This is one example where there is this nexus between the academy/university and the world of public policy.”

Groundbreaking for BAMSI took place in November last year in Andros.

“This is a landmass which is larger than the island of Trinidad but with a population of less than ten thousand people,” the prime minister told those at the meeting, which was held at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.

“I am seeking to make a concerted effort for The Bahamas to develop its agricultural potential, and train farmers and fishermen who will not only conduct research and development but will grow food for our country. This is a determined effort to make the country more self-sufficient in food production.

“In moving ahead with this project we have sought the considered expertise of scientists and others engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, marine science, and curriculum development and large scale commercial farming. In particular, we have sought assistance from the University of Miami (the Rosenstiel School of Marine Science) and the University of Florida. Both universities have indicated their willingness to help the project along, no doubt, because they see that their activities on Andros Island would be consistent in supporting their own research and knowledge in an area in which they have a keen interest.”

According to the prime minister, the new institute will be a centre for research-based activities; will provide hands-on training in fields such as crop and livestock production, farm management, environmental conservation and marine resources.

The Institute will also offer academic instruction and will house an arboretum and a tutorial farm.

Mr. Christie has said in the past that the government’s “agriculture plan” has a holistic and forward-thinking agenda which would support infrastructural upgrades, promote the creation of value-added products, develop an urban agriculture programme, build new agri-business centres and strengthen trading relationships.

He said the institute will make the country “more self-sufficient” in food production.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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