By focusing on producing food with the nation’s borders, The Bahamas will become less reliant on foreign imports and can reduce food prices over the long-term. Currently, only five per cent of food products in The Bahamas are produced within our borders, despite the fact that we have enough arable land in order to be self-sustaining. By empowering our farmers and fishermen with the expertise necessary to achieve global competitiveness, we are taking the first steps towards reversing this trend.
BAMSI’s 800-acre research and demonstration farm in North Andros has been instrumental in providing consumers with access to a nutritious, affordable and sustainable food supply. The BAMSI farm began crop production in 2014 and acreage under production has expanded significantly over the past two years.
Two of the main crops from the farm are bananas and papayas, with both gaining consumer acceptance and hundreds of boxes placed on the market each week. The farm has also begun growing coconuts, limes, mangoes, papaya, avocados, cabbage, sweet peppers, cucumber, plantains and honey, which according to a recent consumer survey, are all in high demand.
BAMSI is also making use of cutting edge technologies in order to increase production. Aquaponics, for example, which involves marine life within the growing system, is slated to come on stream in late 2017. BAMSI currently has a hydroponics facility which is being employed to grow six varieties of lettuce and herbs. Plans for expansion, which are expected to double production, are underway.
It is estimated that over the next five years, BAMSI, though the Associated Farmers Programme, will reduce food imports, replacing it with a food production system that is environmentally friendly, science-based and technologically driven for the benefit of all Bahamians.
The Institute offers teaching and training to provide the professional and technical qualifications necessary for various branches of agriculture and marine resources and to provide strong academic training and extensive hands-on orientation in crop and livestock production, farm management, environment conservation, agri-business and management of marine resources.
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