In continuing their efforts to collaborate on the agenda of the new government in the fields of agricultural development and research, Mrs. Miriam Emmanuel, Executive Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and Mrs. Phedra Rahming, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources travelled to North Andros on Monday, 30TH October 2017 to visit the Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) , North Andros Packing House and North Andros Agro-Industrial Park.
Also in attendance were Hon. Carlton Bowleg, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources and Member of Parliament for North Andros and the Berry Islands, Mr. Alassis Braynen, General Manager of BAMSI and Dr. Jason Sands, Chief Operations Officer of the Gladstone Road Agricutural Center (GRAC). The Board of Directors of BAIC, Deputy Chairman Mrs. Debbie Mott- Strachan, Mr. Bernard Adderley, Mr. Keith Carroll, Mr. Jameel Lightbourne, Mr. Vernal Martinbourough, and Mr. Mark Turnquest also accompanied the delegation.
Mr. Troy Sampson General Manager of BAIC and Mrs. Judith Thompson Deputy General Manager, along with Mr. Alphonso Smith Domestic and Investment Officer for BAIC North Andros Office coordinated the one-day tour of BAMSI and BAIC facilities. The visit also afforded other team members of BAIC to be a part of the planning committee for ongoing projects in North Andros. Some of the projects are in the areas of agri-business, farming, food processing and general business.
As the Government of the Bahamas forges ahead with the development in the agricultural and marine sectors, continued focus will remain on BAMSI to ensure that the necessary linkages are made to assist the future development of the sectors.
Executive Chairman and Permanent Secretary Rahming opined that the site inspection presented an excellent perspective for the two agencies, as it was easier to make decisions having been “on the ground” and seeing firsthand, the entire layout of the BAMSI. In the coming weeks, Permanent Secretary Rahming added that her primary goal was to sit with the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Agriculture technical teams in an effort to conclude and to restore all outstanding matters which pre-empted the opening of BAMSI to the agricultural entrepreneurs.
The delegation toured BAMSI Buildings under construction, the main faculty building, the newly planted papaya and banana fields and the livestock area. The tour also included the viewing of crops being grown using the technology of hydroponics, a process that reduced the normal production time of some crops. Before returning to the capital, Chairman Emmanuel and her delegation were able to tour the Red Bays proposed Handicraft Center which is expected to house all artisans and local residents interested in displaying their handicraft items to Bahamians and tourists visiting the Red Bays area.