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JIS News

Despite the effects of two major hurricanes in addition to harsh drought conditions this year, the nation’s farmers are optimistic about the 53rd staging of the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show, which will be held in May Pen, Clarendon from July 30 to August 1.
Regional Manager of the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) Region Two, Thelma Williams, told JIS News that the farmers’ spirits were high, and that “the preparations would go on, rain or shine”. Region Two covers the parishes of Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, Trelawny and Portland.
Miss Williams, acknowledged that some farmers in the region were flooded out, but noted that even those farmers insisted that they would be represented at Jamaica’s biggest agricultural and industrial show. “As we speak, all the parishes are getting ready for the show,” she said.
She indicated that where there might be a shortfall in fresh produce, participants would seek to compensate for this, by displaying preserves. “Particularly in the parish of Portland, I know we’re going to be seeing a variety of preserves, so that we can have a taste of some of these fruits that have gone down in the hurricane,” she informed, noting that the St. Elizabeth booth should boast a variety of value added items.
Thomas Maine, Regional Manager of Region One, which comprises St. Ann, St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Kingston and St. Andrew, said that despite the effects of the hurricanes, the farmers were determined to put on a good show and those in east rural St. Andrew would be sourcing produce from other areas in the parish, to make up their displays.
He noted however, that the displays would be somewhat reduced compared to previous years.
Mr. Maine, who has been working with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and farmers, said that the spirit of this resilient group of workers has been surprisingly good – given the circumstances. The farmers are saying, “the show must go on!” he told JIS News.