JAS launches Montpelier Agricultural Show
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
The JamaicA Agricultural Society (JAS) officially launched the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show 2010, which will take place on Easter Monday, April 5, at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority's (RADA) office in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday.
The theme for this year's agricultural show is 'Agriculture - The Answer to Recession', and will focus on the development of Jamaica's agricultural sector as a tool to combat the effects of the global economic crisis. It will feature the use of technology in agriculture, highlight the contribution of the youth to the development of the sector, and emphasise the health and wellness of the nation.
This year's show will be held on the Montpelier Showgrounds at an estimated cost of $1.7 million. Members of the public will be asked to pay $400 for adults and $150 for children.
JAS President Glendon Harris said this year's show creates an opportunity for farmers and other stakeholders in the sector to showcase what they have accomplished over the last year.
Best agricultural show
"It promises to be the best agricultural show this Easter, and the best agricultural show in the west of the island," Harris declared.
"We must ensure that we do all that we can to promote the farmers and to ensure that the farmers feel that they are an integral part of society," he said. "And ensure that the rural communities are comfortable not to have our young, productive people moving from the rural communities where they can farm to being chucked up in the inner-city communities where they'll become non-productive and become a liability to the nation."
Harris added that the agricultural show was the right place to showcase the importance of farmers, farm produce, and rural communities at large.
Venton Bucknor, RADA parish manager for St James, noted that one of the key objectives of the show is the promotion of agriculture in St James.
"We are charged to ensure food security for the nation and this, I think, takes precedence over everything else," Bucknor remarked. "So what we will be promising our farmers is valuable information that they will take back to their farms and implement in order to improve our food-production situation and make it sustainable to ensure continued growth for our nation."