August 16, 2019
Twenty-one young people were part of an Aquaponics Summer Discovery Programme held recently at Sir Jack Hayward High School, where they were introduced to new advances in agricultural science and technology. The students learned about aspects of farm operations and engaging in best practices in aquaponics from experts and trained professionals.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard, on Friday, August 16, encouraged the summer campers to become a part of the agricultural industry where they could become self-employed, stating: “we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that agriculture and marine resources hold opportunities for decent work for decent pay, as well as ownership.
“New varieties, new technologies such as grow houses, green houses, what we call ‘climate-smart agriculture’ -- being able to protect what you are growing so that you and those who follow you are not discouraged when there are catastrophes that can in a single day wipe out years of investment -- aquaponics is a critical part of the future thrust of The Bahamas in agriculture.”
He said an upcoming Agriculture Cadet Programme will be designed for young people to learn various areas of agriculture and eventually marine resources. It is hoped that at the end of the programme, participants will be able to obtain scholarships to study locally and internationally.
According to Minister Pintard, approximately 90 per cent of the food consumed in the country is imported, and many of the items can be grown locally with vacant land available on islands like Andros and Grand Bahama.
“The challenge to you is, if you truly wish to celebrate Independence, a part of our independence is food security,” he said.
“This area could make a huge impact if most of what is being consumed by the millions of visitors to the country is grown locally. That way, most of the money would be kept at home.”
Following the brief ceremony, students were presented with certificates of participation.
NEW PROGRAMME TO BE INTRODUCED – During the closing ceremony of the 1st Aquaponics Summer Discovery Programme at Sir Jack Hayward High School on August 16, 2019 Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard announced an Agriculture Cadet Programme will be introduced to expose young people to all areas of agriculture and eventually marine resources.
ENCOURAGING PROGRAMME PARTICIPANTS – High school students participatinig in the 1st Aquaponics Summer Discovery Programme were on Friday encouraged by Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard to enter the field of agriculture and eventually become self-employed.
FUTURE MARINE BIOLOGIST – Jaden Simmons, a 10th grade student of Tabernacle Baptist Academy, said the Aquaponics summer programme is unique. Even though she wants to become a Marine Biologist, the programme helped her by exposing a new branch of science she has never experienced before. Jaden is pictured with programme facilitator Charles Wayne Hall and Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard.
ENJOYED THE SUMMER PROGRAMME - Daniel Dean, an 11th grade student at St. George’s High School, said he had no idea what aquaponics was: “I thought we were going to do something with marine life; even though it had marine life I thought it would be more focused on that aspect. I’d heard of hydroponics before but I didn’t know you could use fish to provide nutrients for the plants. I liked the experience and I’d like to do it again.” Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard and programme facilitator Charles Wayne Hall are pictured with Daniel.
PROGRAMME WAS INFORMATIVE – Kennad Cash, a recent graduate of Tabernacle Baptist Academy who hopes to attend the University of The Bahamas, said he sees a possible career in Aquaponics after participating in the summer programme. “It gave me wider options as to what I want to achieve in life because my dream is to become a chef. It made me realize I could [incorporate] it into my dream of being a chef by growing my own crops. It really opened my eyes to vast opportunities in the future. Kennad is pictured with Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard and programme facilitator Charles Wayne Hall.
PROGRAMME PARTICIPANTS – Following the closing ceremony of the Aquaponics Summer Discovery Programme at Jack Hayward High School, August 16, 2019 participants took a group photo with Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard, Ministry staff and programme facilitators.
(BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)