Bahamas Feeding Network, ADO Laud Establishment of BAMSI Egg Poultry Academy
The Bahamas Feeding Network applauds the government’s launch of The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute’s (BAMSI) Egg Academy Poultry Research and Training Center as a part of its overall egg production plan.
With a goal of producing one million eggs annually, the research and training center is expected to greatly assist in addressing the country’s food security issue, while offering tertiary education for Bahamians.
Bahamas Feeding Network Executive Director James Palacious touted the establishment of the research training center and academy as an incredible step towards addressing food security and sustainability in The Bahamas.
“The Bahamas Feeding Network sees the importance of this investment in both food security and education,” according to the executive director.
“Farm produced food, like the eggs that will be harvested through this initiative, are key factors in improving the health of our people. Local produce is always better as we are sure of its quality and programs like the Egg Poultry Research and Training Center should certainly be supported as it promotes not only home-grown food, but greatly reduces our country’s food import bill. The goal of one million eggs produced annually is undoubtedly a big task, but certainly one that is possible and beneficial to The Bahamas.”
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs Clay Sweeting opened the poultry research facility last week, which will serve as a host to the Layers Programme in North Andros, which includes 500 Rhode Island Red Layer Chicks with the expectation of producing an estimated 1.5 million eggs.
With the global surge in the price of eggs at the beginning of 2023, The Bahamas Feeding Network considers this investment is timely and worthwhile.
“There will always be a need to feed but with a billion dollars a year food import bill and with so many processed foods contributing to the poor health of the population, we must focus on a return to farming as an honest and honourable way of life and to backyard and community farming as a means to grow what we eat and eat what we grow,” according to Agriculture Development Organization (ADO Bahamas) Executive Chairman Philip Smith.
“ADO Bahamas was born out of the feeding network and we’ve given out more than 2,500 backyard farming kits already in less than two years. With each kit comes a field officer assigned to help you plant and provide advice and counsel at least once a month as well as to record all efforts across the board. The minister and I both sit on the board of ADO.”
The poultry and research academy will aid in creating a sustainable poultry production program for The Bahamas, housing around 3,800 birds in its enriched cage system. The Bahamas Feeding Network also applauds BAMSI’s dedication to ensuring young Bahamians are involved and educated, focusing on the technical and business knowledge required to operate a poultry business on a successful scale.
Food security and sustainability has been a major focus of BAMSI under the current and previous administrations as The Bahamas spends over $12.5 million on imported eggs and imports $1 billion in food overall.
Founded in 2013, The Bahamas Feeding Network has gone from a non-stop kitchen in Fox Hill to food distribution through organizations that feed, including 110 soup kitchens, feeding centers and church feeding programs. Food coupons are purchased and grocery parcels are created through year-round fundraising and donations. The mission of The Bahamas Feeding Network is to maximize the effectiveness of common issues among the soup kitchens, churches and feeding centres currently operating in New Providence including scarcity of resources - personnel, finances, food supplies and non-food supplies, to minimize duplication of services, improve communications and collaboration, to develop an online database inclusive of times and locations of programs, to identify under-served or unserved areas and to provide a common platform for standards and best practices and the review of government and NGO policies related to feeding centres and programs.