Believing in fostering the development of a new generation of Agricultural Entrepreneurs, BAIC along with North Andros High School, Agricultural Science teacher and project manager, Mr Rai Budhup, continues to pioneer this revolutionary programme.
BAIC continues to provide grant funding for this initiative.
Andros is a leading island in crop production, producing onions, cabbages, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, hot peppers. BAIC has successfully introduced modern technologies such as drip irrigation and greenhouse farming, which has enabled larger scales of production, making agriculture a more viable option for generations ahead, and serving as an example for North Andros High School (NAHS) students in the community.
To raise funds, agricultural students at NAHS have turned their school farm into a successful multi-faceted agribusiness. Having supported the school’s progress throughout the years, Mr Arnold Dorsett, Agriculture Assistant General Manager at BAIC, noted that the programme has expanded from a school programme to a semi-commercial business with 3-4 acres under cultivation. This past season NAHS sold 300 bags of onion and this upcoming year, the school has their target on diversification into a variety of crops and even livestock.
The success of their past season was part-facilitated through BAIC services that render market access to farmers in the archipelago, and ultimately by major stakeholder businesses who jumped to support the project.
Private partners like Don Carnine, general manager of Bahamas Food Services, alluded to the importance of supporting youth agriculture: Without these students developing a passion for farming, the future of Bahamian Agriculture looks very dismal. Much of the seasoned veteran farmers will be retiring someday, and that is when we will need the youth to prevail. We praise the North Andros High School Administration and BAIC for providing a curriculum of opportunity for our youth, and elevating the status of a Farmer, as being just as important to the Bahamas as any other profession.
Clifton Fernander, purchasing manager of SuperValue Food Store, another private partner, emphasised the importance of this project: “We were especially keen on this initiative which supports the North Andros High School and specifically, the students within the agricultural programme. Our company has always prided ourselves in patronising locally and it gives us even greater pleasure to support the future generation of farmers to come.”
The agricultural programme, having been in existence for over ten years, is soaring to new heights through perseverance, and through contributions from community-minded donors. BAIC is one such Partner that has shown our consistent support. Mr Dorsett noted that BAIC has agreed to assist in donating input supplies for this coming season, but it is still undetermined as how the remainder costs will be financed. Project manager, Mr Budhu, and BAIC Agricultural Division encourages the general community to support the NAHS programme as they set a high target to break ground for their agricultural classroom this school year.