#Nassau, May 23, 2019 – Bahamas – The fourth cohort of students received their Associate Degrees as the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Institute, BAMSI, graduated 11 more students in four separate categories. Of the eleven, four graduated with an Associate Degree in Marine Science, three with an Associate Degree in Agriculture, two with an Associate Degree in Aquaculture and two in the area of Environmental Science.
Addressing the students, Principal of Institute, Dr. Rovenia Roberts-Hanna urged the students to fulfill their destinies as being a part of the solution to the country’s challenge with providing good quality and healthy food for the nation. Citing the fact that more than 800 million people are listed as chronically hungry while millions more are dying from poor eating habits, Dr. Roberts-Hanna urged the graduates to bridge the gap in this country and “find innovative ways to reduce this country’s food import bill and to inspire others to discipline and ultimately to provide an affordable, nutritious and sustainable food supply for a healthier and wealthier country.”
Chairman and President of BAMSI, Mr. Tennyson Wells also lauded the new approach the institute has taken, focusing on new cash crops while at the same time, pushing innovation both in the field and in it’s aquaponics operations. Mr. Wells celebrated the institution’s successful introduction of farm raised tilapia fish to the market, branding it “BAMSI Snapper” and thanked the students and staff for their enthusiasm and support of the venture.
He also reported on the success the new approach of focusing on larger wholesale buyers for products raised at BAMSI’s demonstration farm and growing products that are in demand. According to Mr. Wells, BAMSI will for the first time, produce in commercial quantities the famed sugar loaf pineapples outside of Eleuthera. He also touted the institution’s plans to expand its degree offerings come September 2019.
The keynote speaker was Member of Parliament for North Andros and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources, Mr. Carlton Bowleg. He highlighted BAMSI’s data collection and research responsibility and its value to Bahamian farmers throughout the country as we expand our efforts at food security. Bowleg also lauded the short time in which BAMSI’s importance to our national development was established and called on the graduates to remain stewards for its continued growth and success.
Of this year’s 11 graduates, 7 were males and 4 females. Valedictorian for BAMSI’s Class of 2019 was Alexandria Sinclair. Ventoi Bethune walked away with the “Spirit of BAMSI” award.