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Story Highlights

  • Minister McNeill has hailed the Mannings School Westmoreland Curry Festival as an excellent example of economic linkages between tourism and agriculture.
  • Minister McNeill said the curry festival is the perfect example of how Jamaican foods and other aspects of culture can be introduced to visitors.
  • The festival is a major calendar event in western Jamaica.

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr Wykeham McNeill has hailed the Mannings School Westmoreland Curry Festival as an excellent example of economic linkages between tourism and agriculture.

Speaking with JIS News at the 14th staging of the festival at the school grounds in Savanna-la-mar on Sunday, April 27, Minister McNeill said the curry festival is the perfect example of how Jamaican foods and other aspects of culture can be introduced to visitors.

Dr. McNeill sampled the sights and tastes of the festival, leading a team, which included Chairman of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Maxine Henry Wilson;  Executive Director, Dennis Hickey; Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Clyde Harrison;  and Managing Director of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, Courtney Wynter.

He said the development of community tourism is crucial to enabling the country to benefit from the opportunities in tourism.

“It (the festival) is a good product that we can use to push community tourism when we bring our culture and our people in contact with our visitors. It also strengthens our efforts to ‘eat what we grow and grow what we eat’.  It is a great linkage… we can get some of our visitors to come and learn how to cook our curry dishes and get some of our ingredients when they go back home,” he stated.

The festival is a major calendar event in western Jamaica. It has grown from a curry cook-off to a cultural extravaganza, showcasing some of the island’s top culinary connoisseurs, as well as popular recording artistes.

The Celebrity Chef competition saw Past President of the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association, Trevor Heaven copping first prize, beating Andrew Gray of Gray Pepper Products, and Robert Russell of Reggae Sumfest, in the second and third places respectively.