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Minnis Says Fnm Will ‘Fix’ Bamsi Rather Than Close Down Facility

The crowd at the FNM rally in Andros last night. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/FNM

The crowd at the FNM rally in Andros last night. Photo: Yontalay Bowe/FNM

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr Hubert Minnis last night said his vision for agriculture is “broad” while pledging to “fix” the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) despite speculation from the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) that a FNM led government would close down the agriculture based facility.

Describing himself as a “transformational” leader, Dr Minnis appealed to supporters in North Andros to rally together to vote the PLP out of office before “they finish raping our country” of its resources.

He further sought to paint the PLP as an organisation led by an “elitist” executive with a sense of entitlement, adding that Prime Minister Perry Christie believed he was entitled to rule the country for as long as he wanted.

During a rally on the island where scores of FNMs gathered, Dr Minnis said it appeared that the PLP was in panic mode and was readying to “play dirty tricks” to win the election. He said it was now more important than ever for FNMs to be vigilant, not letting their guard down for “battle”.

FNM candidate Carlton Bowleg Jr will go head to head against incumbent Dr Perry Gomez in the 2017 general election for North Andros and the Berry Islands. Samuel Kemp will represent the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). Dr Gomez has represented the constituency since 2012.

Dr Minnis said: “When the FNM wins we will fix BAMSI. We will make it stronger and even better. I will be a transformational leader. My vision for agriculture is broad. For many years it has been increasingly difficult to find our native fruits. An FNM government will launch an ambitious programme for the farming of fruits like guava, tamarind, juju, soursop, sugar apple, pineapple, sapodilla, hog plum, scarlet plum, guinep, coco plum, papaya, sugar bananas, and other fruit. These fruits can be processed into jams, sauces, teas, fruit drinks, bakery products and more.

“Family Islands like Andros will play the major role in the farming of these fruits as well as organically grown vegetables. The truth is, BAMSI could have been up and running in the proper manner long ago. But like everything they touch, the PLP used BAMSI to give money and favours only to their people.”

Dr Minnis also said: “The PLP also wanted to give away your fish and your land to foreigners. This big Andros land deal was not intended to benefit most Androsians. The PLP wasn’t checking for you. This was intended to benefit a few PLPs and other PLPs who were connected to the higher ups. If the PLP had their way, in years to come, you’d be struggling to find fish. And you’ll be making your boiled fish from lionfish. We have to stop the PLP before they finish raping our country.”

Dr Minnis said if his party wins the election, it would reform and modernise local government in the country.

“The FNM will amend existing legislation and policies to enhance and increase the authority of Family Island local government.

“We will work to enhance small business opportunities, including: heritage and cultural tourism; cooperatives and small farm holdings; boutique resorts and other such enterprises in the Family Islands.

“The FNM will empower each island to establish committees to draft their own overall development plan in the context of the Bahamas National Development Plan,” Dr Minnis said.

Earlier this month, Agriculture and Marine Resources Minister V Alfred Gray told PLPs in March Harbour, Abaco that Dr Minnis would most likely close BAMSI if the FNM was victorious in the upcoming election, which is set for May 10.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 4 days ago

Of course Minnis would never shut down BAMSI....he and his cronies are licking their chops in anticipation of being able to feast on that gravy train in the same that Christie and his conies have done.

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jackbnimble 1 week, 4 days ago

I'm sure you're right but at this point what choice do we have? Another 5 years of being raped from behind or 5 years with a rape from the front?

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Cobalt 1 week, 4 days ago

You try and mask it......... but your PLP loyalties are clear as day. You attempt to present yourself as a nonpartisan bystander, when anyone with sense can clearly see exactly where you plan to place your X.

You're just another PLP fool.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 4 days ago

I'm not even running for elected office, yet you prefer coming at me rather than taking on Minnis for his many known character flaws and other serious shortcomings, foremost of which is his inability to control his temper; not to mention his appallingly dismal track record as a politician. You are obviously much too blinded by partisan party politics to vote on the basis of the best candidate running in your constituency no matter what their party affiliation may be. That makes you my friend, one of the many voters responsible for where our country is today. If it helps you any, I will grant that history shows you (and your kind) are clearly winning with the evidence being the continued decline and destruction of our nation. There you have it - YOU ARE WINNING!

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licks2 1 week, 3 days ago

I think he/she is one of dem "dumped" ole FNMs dem. . .can't like doc even if we love him for them. . .

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

Oh, please! I've never been or sought to be elected to any political office, whether it be the government or a political party. My interest lies only in a better Bahamas for all of us, and that certainly will not happen with Christie, Minnis or McCartney as PM over the next five years. But of these three, Minnis is likely to be the worst for us. As I've said many times before, Minnis as PM would be worse than a Crooked Christie on steroids over the next five years. You must therefore THINK, THINK, THINK!!!

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banker 1 week, 4 days ago

I had a great discussion with a few friends over beer at the Green Parrot, and within ten minutes one of my childhood friends came up with a brilliant plan that would save BAMSI and generate huge amounts of foreign currency at the same time. And no, they didn't like my idea of converting BAMSI into a world supplier of medical marijuana.

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrades, if the crown's Agriculture Minister V Alfred, can loudly proclaim BAMSI's huge success at growing and selling over 416,000lbs per year of bananas - what the hell, I say as long no toxic chemicals are used - let Minnis, take state monies to grow a half million pounds Androsian avocados?

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 4 days ago

BAMSI is a great idea .......... gone wild ......... Too much political corruption for too little return on investment .......... The money spent on this grand experiment could have been invested to strengthen the micro agro-industries of each island ........ Imagine what $5 million invested in each of the 6 major agricultural islands of the country ........... exotic pineapple farming in Eleuthera, livestock & pot-hole farming in Long Island, vegetable farming in Abaco, legumes farming in MICAL, root crops in Cat Island and bananas & citrus in Andros ........ That is $30 million invested well ................. as compared to BAMSI with over $50 million unaccounted for???

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banker 1 week, 4 days ago

Not to mention the Cat Island tomatoes. My understanding was that they were genetically superior, and their DNA was used to improve US domestic varieties. The same story about the DNA in Eleuthera pineapple DNA used to produce the Costa Rican Gold pineapple that now dominates the market.

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrade Banker, good god speak truth to farming possibilities cause even V.Alfred knows that outside his BAMSI banana holes and Long Islanders goat farming - commercial farming is not financially sustainable due to our soil conditions.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 4 days ago

Tal .......... I think you are a secret admirer of sheeprunners ....... after all, they are the pacesetters for the nation .......... Where would Milo, HAI and Perry be without good, strong, Long Island women ........ My, God, the PLP even have Long Islanders to thank for their very political existence.

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banker 1 week, 4 days ago

True dat, but the real money is not in actually mass production of our agricultural assets, but rather the intellectual property contained in them.

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrade Banker, without international protections, you will be duplicated by competitors - not to mention the ripoff artists. You're not suggesting you know of Bahamalanders, who are currently financially benefiting from agriculture intellectual properties? This is certainly not what BAMSI and millions wasted state funds are about.

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banker 1 week, 3 days ago

I don't have time to educate you, but a science institute is NOT a farm. It is to do research and science. We don't have the means to mass produce food, and that is not what the INSTITUTE is about. It is about guaranteeing food security and advances agricultural science in the Bahamas, as well as training a cadre of agricultural knowledge workers. It could also be a money-maker. For the cost of the PLP criminal actions of the non-insured fire-destroyed dormitory, we could have been protecting and licencing unique agriculture intellectual properties. I know that the word intellectual throws you PLP types because the IQ of y'all is the size of the mob divided by the largest shoe sizes, but we do have unique, patentable, licenceable stuff that is economically viable and exploitable. For example, a lab in France determined that our humble sea grape leaves has the most anti-oxidants of any naturally occurring organic substances. We don't know what we have until we find out, and that is the function of a science institute. We should be monetizing our agricultural IP instead of the rampant corruption and cronyism of the government. Stupid Godfrey Eneas is a know-nothing dolt sucking off the public teat and enriching hisself.

In a knowledge industry world, we could actually be rich, except for the proliferation of small minds and big egos.

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baldbeardedbahamian 1 week, 4 days ago

the elephant in the BAMSI's room is the availability of freshwater. Agriculture uses a huge amount of fresh water and we simply do not have it. Florida is a huge landmass compared to Andros but it is sinking due to the depletion of its fresh water qualifiers. Fresh water in Andros will go the way of that the Monk seals in the Bahamas did when the Europeans arrived en masse. You don't see many Monk Seals about now, do you?

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Comrade Baldbeardedbahamian, thanks for sharing, I never knew about our beautiful Monk seals.
The government issued a 1995 Monk Seals Commemorative $2 coin - love get my hands on one.

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bahamiangoddedd 1 week, 4 days ago

So Minnis wants to grow coco plum and juju's.. ***LONG SIGHS*

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 4 days ago

At the End of the Day BAMSI is a PLP visionary idea. "Roc with doc" has no vision.

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

Comrade Banker, I don't have time to educate you, but the science - it's all in the seeds. We need the means to stop the politicians from allowing the Chinese from digging ups we damn seeds to steal we agricultural intelligence.

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banker 1 week, 2 days ago

Please, nyggah. The only thing that you could educate me on, is the time -- and that is only because a stopped clock is right twice a day. Except in the PLP case, the clock is electronic, so it is stupid all of the time because nothing shows on the face.

Gloves are off. PLP is a cancer that has to be excised. I call upon any shred of patriotism that you might have, to abjure, renounce, repent, abnegate, foreswear, recant, renege, repeal, repudiate, retract, take back, unsay, withdraw any PLP allegiance and sympathies that you may have. Any reluctance proves that you are unfit to be called a patriotic Bahamian.

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