NASSAU, BAHAMAS — With the COVID-19 crisis and economic fall-out sparking increased public conversation over food security, officials have seen ‘significant’ interest in course offerings at the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI). BAMSI executive director Dr Raveenia Roberts-Hanna said: “We have had people contact us who ordinarily wouldn’t have given agriculture and marine science a second thought; especially young people who are now realizing the importance of food security versus whatever their initial choice would have been. “We are getting what I call new converts now, people who are exploring the courses that we offer. They see now what is happening globally. Food related industries are among the few that are still open and so we are seeking an increased level of interest in persons looking at how they can make a career and living in this field. “We are more than happy to facilitate them. We have programs for everyone, regardless of interest or academic level. We want to create our own local specialists.” Roberts-Hanna added, “It’s unfortunate that it had to take something like this for people to realize that we should take food security seriously but we have seen a significant increase in interest, via our website and information channel.” She noted that institute which was launched in September 2014 recently received approval from the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for five additional degree courses. “Right now we offer ten degree programs and we also got approval for some non-credit certificate courses,” Roberts-Hanna continued.
“We have certificate courses in areas such as agriculture, flats fishing which should launch this Fall, backyard farming as well as landscaping and design. We offer associate degrees in agriculture, marine sciences, aquaculture, environmental science, agribusiness, agronomy, general agriculture as well as art and the environment.” BAMSI students are offered the same benefits of students at UB and BTVI under the Bahamas Government Tertiary Education Grant, among other scholarship opportunities.