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Reggae to draw youth to Agrofest

Agricultural Society CEO, James Paul

Agricultural Society CEO, James Paul

Even if patrons come for one reason and stay for another the goal would have been reached, says Chief Executive Officer of the Agricultural Society, James Paul.

He was speaking in an interview with Barbados TODAY regarding the society’s decision to once again have a Banks Reggae Night at Agrofest 2013. Agrofest will be held on February 22 to 24 at Queen’s Parks well as Weymouth Playing Field on Roebuck Street in the City.

Paul said that since its reintroduction in 2005, one of the things they noticed was that not many people between 18 and 35 were attending the showcase. As a result, from last year they decided to introduce reggae to the festival to attract more people from that age group.

“The intention is to get as many people as possible in to view the exhibits because we have been hiding agriculture away from people for too long and what we are looking to do is expose the sector to as many people as possible.

“They have different interests but we might be able to†kindle something in them to say ‘Let us get involved in the sector because of the work it has been doing’,” he said.

“If we were to market our product each day to the people who are accustomed to it, we may not make any breakthrough. The point is if we are going to grow the sector and get more people interested, even in terms of support for the sector, unless people understand what is happening they will not support it and that is why we sought to get as wide a range of people as possible to expose the agricultural sector.

“We also have calypso on the Saturday… One of the things that we recognise is if we get those young people inside the park at least they can get a sense of what is happening in the agriculture sector and†some will leave with ideas of which they can implement in their homes, in their businesses … so that is why I am thinking we use this as a drawing card and hopefully we can get those people in there.

“Some might come directly for the show but there are others who come and walk around to see what is happening in Agrofest, and hopefully the exhibits will be of interest to them† and that will keep them.”

This year’s Agrofest is expected to be outstanding. Paul said that so far they had an increased number of registered exhibitors, up to 189, and further said he expected at least 300 overall by the weekend. Based on the number of exhibitors, he said, he also expected an increase in patrons.

Preparations†for the exhibition are at an advanced stage and progressing very well, Paul said. (KC)

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