Agrofest has to support the marketing initiatives of local commodities.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, the organisers of the exhibition, said it is not just fruits and vegetables either but milk as well.
He said that they work towards making the produce look as artistic as possible.
“I know we have them on show traditionally but I think that we’re under selling our own locally produced commodities and I think that maybe the theme for next year will be centred around that.
“Also this year, Pine Hill Dairy tried to promote their milk in a big way also I know that one or two farms, actually either on their own or in other instances with the Rural Development Commission, were marketing some pasteurized products that were produced on their farms.
“This I think is a good development that we’re seeing more milk marketing being done in Barbados and I would like to push this marketing efforts in relation to commodities that we produce in Barbados next year and I think that’s where the focus will most likely be,” Paul said.
He also elaborated on the BAS’ push to get more householders to grow their own food saying that it Agrofest was “widening the spurt” as more people had become more involved in agriculture, which was a good thing for the country.
“I think it is working in terms of not only making people aware of the agricultural sector but also making it seem possible for them to be involved in the production of fruits and vegetables. We have to try and see if we can in this particular environment try to use every opportunity to reach out to everybody whether it is persons who work in the sector or any stakeholders. I think it is very important that we can get as many people involved to add capacity.
“The main threat right now is declining capacity that for instance our inputs are getting more expensive not because of the fact that prices are rising worldwide, but also in some cases we cannot buy as efficiently as possible on the international market the commodities that we are using or the inputs that we are using for our farms,” the CEO explained.
In addition to organising seminars, Paul said that lack of funding was the primary reason they had not been able to set up their outlet for farmers to sell their produce.
“We have not secured all of the financing we need to open our outlet. However it does not mean this is something we intend to put on the back burner. Where it is possible for us to help to market local produce in any form we should do it and for instance we work with other private sector partners in terms of that to the extent where once we can get the farmers’ store organised we’d we willing to push that so farmers could at least have one more outlet to market their vegetables,” the BAS head said. (DS)