Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Agrofest set for Saturday at JC

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2016 | 5:00 AMChristopher Serju

Some of the best food crops and livestock produced by farmers in Kingston and St Andrew will be on show Saturday at the Jamaica College grounds during the 20th staging of Kingston and St Andrew Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show.

Dubbed Agrofest, the annual show is now a very popular family event with a wide range of fun activities, as well as a popular farmers' market which will open for business at 7 a.m.

Over the years, Agrofest has served as a showcase for the invaluable contribution of farmers to the development of the local economy, while encouraging more young people to choose agriculture as a career option.

OBJECTIVES

One of the objectives is to make the public aware of how their personal decision to 'Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow' can contribute to Jamaica's drive to achieve food security and independence.

Norman Grant, president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), used the recent Agrofest launch at its Church Street, downtown Kingston, head office to offer some insight into how Kingston and St Andrew farmers are impacting national production.

The 9,707 tonnes of food they produced last year represents 1.7 per cent of the national production of 571,000 tonnes.

St Andrew is also responsible for approximately 45 per cent of the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee produced annually.

COFFEE AGRO PARKS

Grant used the occasion to call for the Government to implement coffee agro parks, where the focus would be on improved roads, irrigation systems, funding, and the development of nurseries.

He noted that half of the country's 7,000 coffee farmers are in St Andrew.

The JAS president said the 20th anniversary show would be worth going miles to see, given the wide range of competitions, as well as popular features such as the Police Mounted Troop Exhibition and Guardsman Canine Display.

Other standout activities include the 4-H Club Public Speaking Competition, JAS 'Eat Jamaican' Cook-off Competition, and Farm Queen Competition.

A number of stalwarts in the agriculture sector who have served over the years will also be recognised.