JAS pulls plug on shows
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has pulled the plug on three annual agricultural shows hosted by the Association of Branch Societies in St Ann, St James, and St Mary, in keeping with the guidelines from the health authorities aimed at minimising the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In addition, it is likely to cancel all activities for Farmers’ Month, which is usually celebrated in April each year.
The affected events are the St Ann Agricultural Show, which was set for Friday, March 27, and the Montpelier (St James) and St Mary shows, which were both planned for Easter Monday (April 13).
“We will have to reassess whether the one in Hanover can be kept in May and further assess for Denbigh. We do think that we will get over this hurdle for Denbigh,” president of the JAS, Lenworth Fulton, told The Gleaner.
It is estimated that the cumulative loss for all three shows is about $10 million, but Fulton added that the cancellations would also set back some of the progress made over the last year.
“The other thing we will take a decision on, which I think we have to cancel, is all public gatherings for Farmers’ Month – press conferences, seminars, workshops,” he said.
“However, we are going to write all the input suppliers to appeal to continue to grant discounts to our farmers because it is very important that we ramp up productivity at this point in time.”