Thursday, 25 May 2017

NATURALLY SPEAKING: After 21 years, Agrofest remains committed to an “eat what we grow” Jamaica

HAND IT OVER: MP Ronald Thwaites (left) assists Grant in making a presentation to Lenworth Fulton (centre).

“DENBIGH is Class A, and in three years we will be graduating to Class B, right behind Denbigh.” So says President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, referring to the annual Agrofest, which had its 2017 staging on the ground of Jamaica College on Saturday.

The event brought together dozens of farm groups (Mavis Bank, St. Peter’s and Mt. Charles among them) and exhibitors who straddle the agricultural and environmental sectors. What patrons encountered as they made the rounds was a mélange of horticultural displays, farm supplies, science and technology tools, and everything from forestry preservation tips to the latest advances in fertilizer treatments. Not to mention a plethora of ground provisions.

At the same time, entrepreneurs showed off offerings, which span the gamut from art-and-craft to pharmaceuticals. Rainforest Seafoods hosted cooking demonstrations at their tent, drawing a sizeable crowd, as the deejay spun some of the latest tunes.

In the end, Agrofest 2017 came off as a wholesome family affair full of sights and sounds. “Our show this year is being held against the background of significant growth in the agricultural sector, in keeping with the transformational campaign launched in 2003,” Grant boasted. “It is our intention to continue creating a big platform for our patrons and exhibitors.”

Custos of Kingston, Steadman Fuller, welcomed this bit of news. “Agrofest reveals a sincere commitment to the growth of agriculture in Jamaica. The fact that the event has reached the ripe old age of 21 years, while encouraging Jamaicans to eat what we grow and grow what we eat, shows that we are poised for sustainable development,” he said. “And as our farmers continue to supply the people of Jamaica, there are wonderful opportunities to be derived from careers in agriculture.”

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