Call for regional marketing of Agrofest

Locals and visitors alike were out in their numbers at this weekend’s Agrofest, with one patron calling for regional marketing of the island’s main agriculture exhibition.

Beekeeper based in Grenada, Jeanette McEwen told Barbados TODAY there is also need raise the profile of the agriculture sector.

“Your advertising is low outside the island, it really should be in our local newspapers, ‘farmers and everyone you are invited to Agrofest, it’s the biggest agricultural festival in the Caribbean’ – it needs to be really emphasized,” McEwen said, adding that she learned about Agrofest from Barbadian representatives at the Caribbean Bee College in St George’s.

“The scope of the agricultural field is not being fully explored and exhibited to the public because it [the festival] is just about fruit and vegetables and cows,” she said.

The first-time visitor to the agriculture expo gave an overall assessment of “well done”, however she said she was disappointed at the limited number of booths displaying local art and craft.

“I want to see more local arts and crafts rather than imported stuff . . . I just find it’s way too much,” she said.

Meanwhile the head of Women Entrepreneurs of Barbados, Undine Whittaker, highlighted the importance of the event to the development of entrepreneurial skills of its members.

“I seek to provide opportunities to women to showcase their work, showcase their talent and seek to income generating opportunities for them; and therefore Agro fest has become one of the events in which several of the women seek to display, showcase and market their products.

“We utilise this opportunity to … ensure that Barbados sees what a wonderful product that there is, in Barbados,” Whittaker said.

Whittaker noted that the organisation’s participation since 2010 has benefitted the members “in terms of raising their profiles, helping them to recognise that they have skills”.

Patrons have been flocking to the information booth to learn more about the sector and also seek advice on pursuing household, school or farming projects.

“We’ve had a lot of patrons passing through … they have been asking questions as well, they are not just taking information,” Senior Agricultural Assistant Arlie Connolly said.

Another popular booth has been the Plant Clinic, where individuals were “prescribed” the most suitable products for their ailing vegetables.

“A number of people have been passing through the plant clinic booth, they come with a whole range of problems,” said plant Specialist Bret Taylor.

He noted that a number of householders have also showed a keen interest in cultivating crops.  (KK)

5 Responses to Call for regional marketing of Agrofest

  1. Patrick Lynton
    Patrick Lynton February 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    we talk about the health of our people in this country, sometime i think we only give it lip service, the minstry of agriculture need to do some thing about this in a more powerful way in bring programe to the community teaching them how grow food for they household, if you have done this already, it need to start again, there plenty community centre that can be use, plenty people that is not working that can do this to help with they food bills,let get back back house gardening and eat better it is not yo late for thisandb get some of young people into it .

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 29, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I really do not mean to put a damper on this call to go regional, but if you are so impressed with the little that you do with Agrofest and thnk it will have regional appeal, you really need to think again. Agrofest is only good for Barbados because it is a We Thing. Over the years, the fest has grown in interest but not necessarily in appeal. It draws large crowds because it provides the opportunity for Barbadians to get a lot of produce at reasonable prices. Also, since the island is starved of events to go to, Agrofest offers locals the opportunity to get a bit of entertainment. Other than that, there is nothing really spectacular and certainly nothing that would make you go wow. I am doubtful that its organizers can take it to another level besides what is normal to it. Sooner or later, it is going to suffer the same criticisms as the Oistins Fish Festival. In other words, it is going to become predictable boring.

  3. Andrew Rudder February 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Sunshine Sunny Shine please open your stage curtains and offer you innovative ideas for the betterment of a good cause. There is room for improvement and our young participants i’m sure will take some collective advice from those who have the foresight what we can do is thank them for making the first step in a long journey.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

      I can offer quite a few suggestions but only if done in an official capacity. The days where I would make suggestions via the blogs are long gone.

  4. Andrew Rudder February 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Fellow Barbadians does any one remember St.Thomas and and St Andrew once produced cocoa and pine apples not in large quantities but of high quality? Sugarcane never allow these two crops to prosper. I believe Barbadians would welcome all West Indian Nationals to exhibit and showcase their produce and Agricultural innovations and inventions.


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