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Innovation, excitement at Denbigh 68!

Published:Friday | July 29, 2022 | 12:06 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer
JAS President Lenworth Fulton
JAS President Lenworth Fulton
This workman was busy making repairs to the roof of a building on the grounds of the Denbigh Showground. He was among many workmen preparing the grounds for the July 30 to August 1 staging of the show.
This workman was busy making repairs to the roof of a building on the grounds of the Denbigh Showground. He was among many workmen preparing the grounds for the July 30 to August 1 staging of the show.

After a two-year absence, the organisers and exhibitors at this year’s Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show are promising lots of innovation and excitement from the start of the event on Saturday, July 30 to Monday, August 1 at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon.

Deputy CEO of Hardware and Lumber, Olive Downer Walsh, is confident that with the show last held in 2019, patrons are hungering to reconnect with farmers and excited to see the new offerings from other exhibitors.

“One is optimistic that there will be a high turnout in terms of patrons and stakeholders to really reconnect in that setting with the various stakeholders like ourselves, and to see what’s happening now.

“There is an engagement that takes place on location that is very critical. So for us, it’s more about a very optimistic approach that persons will turn out in great numbers with an interest in wanting to learn more and connecting in a way that affords access to new products, to solutions that will enhance Jamaica’s drive for food security.”

Her enthusiasm was matched by that of Livestock Support Manager at Nutramix, Dr Gabrielle Young, who promised a finale unlike anything seen at Denbigh in recent years. Patrons will be able to purchase F1 pigs, nursery pigs, layers and broilers, among other things, in a live auction, with all the proceeds going to charity.

Nutramix will also showcase offspring from its successful artificial insemination (A1) programme – cattle, goats and pigs – and there will be live demonstrations in AI and other animal impregnation techniques, Dr Young promised.

“Walk with your credit card or some other form of payment to participate in the exiting live auction, the first in a long time,” she advised.

Meanwhile, vice-president, Hi-Pro Division of Jamaica Broilers Group, Col (Ret’d) Jaimie Ogilvie, told The Gleaner his company would use the occasion to ramp up and get further buy-in for its Food Independence campaign, which now takes on greater significance in the wake of disruptions in the global supply chain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical tensions from the Ukraine-Russia war.

He explained that while food security is the current buzzword, referring to unfettered physical, social and economic access to safe, healthy and nutritious food population, food independence is a more granular subset of food security.


“It relates to sustainable domestic food production system for that population to that population, in so far as it replaces the need to go outside of your boundaries to get access to the food because it is now available within your boundaries. The only way to achieve that is if you have a sustainable food production system. So it is not just about food security and having access to food, but it is having even greater control over what you consume because you are producing it there in your space.”

The timing of its campaign is deliberate, according to Ogilvie, who went on to share the rationale.

“We’ve chosen this time to start the conversation because its independence, political independence, and now we are talking about the 60 anniversary of independence and we have Denbigh happening which is a major agricultural event in the calendar of the nation. So we think it’s a good time to merge the two – political independence and food independence.”

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Lenworth Fulton, organiser of the show, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, said patrons should come out for a lively and uplifting family event. The coronation of the National Farm Queen on Saturday evening is highly anticipated, but it is the transformation of the market house into a small business development centre which is the real game changer, he shared with The Gleaner.

“This year it will operate as a small business village where two persons from each parish have been invited to showcase innovation and new products, and where they will be allowed to sell their ware. This is consistent with the effort to use the JAS to drive business development through the show, so that its impact can continue after the three days.”