NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Four years after an act of arson devastated the dormitories at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in North Andros, the compound is expected to rise from the ashes with the introduction of its newly-built dormitories in Fall 2019, according to Dr. Rovenia Hanna Executive Director of BAMSI.
Dr. Hanna said the new dorms and administrative complex will position the institute to adequately serve the expected growth in BAMSI’s student population.
There are currently 60 students enrolled at BAMSI and that number is expected to double by the Fall semester, Dr. Hanna confirmed.
She said despite popular belief, even though BAMSI was badly damaged by fire in 2015, the institute has bounced back and is currently on an upward trend.
“BAMSI has never stopped growing,” she said.
“We have turned obstacles into opportunities and so we expect to grow our numbers significantly.
“We anticipate well over 100 once the Fall semester rolls around. Our goal is to eventually have 500-1,000 students.”
Students currently enrolled at BAMSI told Eyewitness News Online that the program has opened their eyes to how lucrative the agriculture industry can be.
“At the rate we are going, we will be booming in agriculture within the next 10 to 20 years,” said Gregory Basden, a second-year BAMSI student.
“I’ve learnt about composting, aquaponics, hydroponics, livestock as well. How to groom and treat them and how to heard them. It’s been a pretty exciting experience.”
Dr. Hanna revealed that BAMSI will achieve its enrollment goals by increasing its current degree offering as well as providing various courses that will allow interested persons to take advantage of courses through a “flexi-choice program.”
“We will be offering new courses and degrees so that we can open up to a wider variety of learners,” she noted.
“Currently we offer five degree programs. One in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Marine Science, Agri-Business and Environmental Science and hopefully [we will] add a degree in Business and Food and Nutrition by Fall 2019.”
Dr. Hanna continued, “If persons are not physically able to come to the farm we are starting to offer a BAMSI flexi-choice course which can be accessed from the comfort of your home where you do five weeks online and do one week of intense hands-on training here at the farm.”
She asserted that the institute is serious about ensuring that a wider sector of society is educated and trained in agri-business to ensure that the country can one day boast of food security.
“It’s important that we reach our mandate because even though we are rooted in Andros, our goal is to reach the entire Bahamas to teach them the importance of food security,” Dr. Hanna said.
Persons interested in enrolling in any of BAMSI’s degree or flexi-choice programs can register online at BAMSIBahamas.com.