Farmers show off their products at St Mary agri-expo
ANNOTTO BAY, St Mary:
Thousands of agriculturalists from across the country travelled to the Gray's Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay, St Mary, on Easter Monday for the 30th staging of the parish's annual agriculture exhibition.
St Mary Agri-Expo 2016, which was held under the theme 'Empowering women and youth through agriculture', featured speeches from the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda, and National Security Minister Robert Montague.
According to exhibitor and president of the Jeffrey Town Farmers' Association, Wordsworth Gordon, the event offers valuable opportunity for small farmers to promote their products to a wider audience.
He told Rural Xpress: "The St Mary Expo is extremely important because it allows the farmers to come out and exhibit the things they have produced in a group situation so we can show the rest of Jamaica that, collectively, we can grow and do things together.
"Working as an individual will work to a point, but when people, especially small farmers, work in groups, they become more efficient and reduce production costs because they are pooling their resources."
Edwin Gaye, a member of the Cattle Breeders' Society, who helped organise the parade of livestock, added: "Events such as this are important because you really get a cross-section of people to see what is happening within the industry; and that is good because people hear about livestock, but hardly know anything about it.
"However, when you come to shows like this, you get to see the quality and numbers, and recognise this is more than just a little man out tying an animal by the wayside. This kind of event really showcases the intricacies of the industry."
He added: "Today, we're displaying some of the beef and dairy animals we have across the island. Most of the animals here are from the College of Agriculture, Science and Education.
"And you'll notice that we have a lot of young people parading the beef animals, which are representative of the Jamaica Brahman, Black, and Red Pole breeds."