Research & Tutorial Farm
BAMSI has created two distinct spaces that are used primarily as centres for data collection. The data provided by the tutorial and also the commercial farm supports forecasting, and when combined with actual yield, provides basic data to address future concerns, production levels, issues with fertilizing, market concerns and more.
The Research/Tutorial Farm is an integral part of the BAMSI organisation and the quest to fulfil the mandate by increasing the capacity for local production. It has the dual purpose to meet the core practical course work for the College students and to respond to the needs of our local producers in providing best practice farm methods.
Specific acreages are sectioned for BAMSI students to engage in direct tutorial farming methods to determine, yields, fertilization rates, pest management processes and production costs.
This work supports the academic class lectures at the college which enables the students to become well versed in the application of their degree. The research done on the farm is primarily for the benefit of the local Bahamian farmers whether it is to introduce a new crop variety which exhibits better pest or heat tolerance, a higher yield or a combination thereto. The farm is also currently involved in improving livestock production by providing pure bred sheep and goats to local herds. In addition, the farm has recently carved out significant acreage to produce selected crops at sufficient scale to provide income to reduce the expenses of the BAMSI operation. This venture is one of the new strategies based on the new way forward
With some 1,000 acres of farmland, and 225 acres under production, BAMSI’s commercial division provides an environment for widespread research and the establishment of best practices. Beyond the growing of an identified number of produce, including bananas, papayas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet pepper, butternut squash, zucchini, okra and cucumber, the farm benchmarks its best field practices and shares these results with members of its Associated Farmers’ Programme (AFP). Students at the College also have access to this information.
The relationship between the College and farm also extends to the employment of trained professionals. A number of graduates from the school are now employed with the Institute in strategic areas, the crops division, livestock section, the AFP, and in aquaponics.
The farm also offers practical support to the College – it helps to feed the students, from lettuce and other greens, to the papaya, bananas and even occasionally – mutton from the livestock section. Operating under the concept, we eat what we grow, BAMSI’s commercial farm brings “farm to table” to life for students. Having been given the opportunity, in many instances, to interact with the produce and livestock, students are able to feel a sense of pride – they are now stewards of the environment and ambassadors of sustainability because they know how the plants and even the animals were sourced and treated before they became a part of the food supply chain.