Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Big plans announced for Denbigh Showground

Published:Monday | August 1, 2016 | 8:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Christopher Levy (second left), president and chief executive officer of Jamaica Broilers Group, shows one of his rabbits to Peter Thompson (left), acting CEO of RADA; Minister of Agriculture Karl Samuda (second right); and Senator Norman Grant, president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, at the Denbigh Agricultural Show on Saturday.

Chairman of the Denbigh Show Committee, Norman Grant, has announced a raft of plans for the continued use of the Denbigh Showground all year round.

At the official ceremony for the 64th staging of the annual Denbigh Agricultural Show on the weekend, he revealed that the process of creating a Denbigh City in Clarendon is far advanced and plans for the Denbigh Hotel have taken root.

"We are moving ahead in engaging our partners and stakeholders to expand the opportunities here on the Denbigh Showground. We will be unveiling the Denbigh Food and Demonstration Plot (Sunday) where every crop grown in Jamaica will be planted there so students can come and learn about the crops that we grow," Grant said.

Over the years, the property has been plagued by theft and vandalism, but, Grant said an important partnership has been formed to alleviate this problem.

"This year, the police and soldiers, as part of their training area, will ensure the showground is more secure," he shared.

Looking ahead, Grant said the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) plans to set up their main offices at the showground.

"Over the next three to five years, we will be working to remove the headquarters from Kingston to Denbigh," he said.

Grant said all parishes have a long-term lease to develop their pavilion and protect it.

"We want to ensure that after Denbigh, aspects of the display can remain," he said, highlighting the benefits of setting up offices on the compound.

In the pipeline also are plans to erect an agricultural museum on the showground that will depict the history of agriculture, as well as renovation of the Farm Queen building that will see the queen actually staying there instead of at a hotel in Kingston.

With the unveiling of the ambitious plans for Denbigh, Grant said the idea is to launch a major effort to engage the people of Clarendon, other stakeholders and international partners in the expansion.

With an estimated $100 million to host this year's event, more than 250 sponsors are participating.