JIS News

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that the global food shortage provides opportunities for farmers to increase production for local and exports markets.
“We need to get our farmers and entrepreneurs to recognize those opportunities. We can do many things that we once never did and we can do them in a way that is successful and we need to help our farmers to do that,” he stated.
Dr. Tufton was addressing the launch of Denbigh 2008 at ACE Supercentre in White Marl, St. Catherine on June 11.
The Agriculture Minister said he is looking forward to this year’s show, which showcases the best in agricultural production in the island. “I’m looking forward to going there and see financial institutions providing information to farmers about how they can access credit, how to develop a business plan and other areas, if agriculture is to become a viable entity,” he stated.
The Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show 2008 will be held from August 1-3 at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon.
President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, in his remarks at the launch, said that there will be a significant improvement in the prizes for competition winners this year.
Parish pavilion prize winners will receive some $200,000 up from $60,000, while the mobilization fund, through which farmers can access funding to prepare for Denbigh, has increased from $50,000 to $75,000 per parish. The increase in incentives, he said, is to encourage more farmers to participate in the event.
In the meantime, the JAS President announced that an international livestock specialist from Texas in the United States has been invited to judge the livestock competitions. “In fact, he is a specialist in the small ruminants sub-sector and he will be conducting some seminars during the show,” Senator Grant informed.
He said that the inclusion of the judge from Texas, a state with a long history of dealing with and in cattle, is a continuation of a trend by the JAS over the past three years, to invite international representatives to the premier agricultural showcase.
“We have been attracting visitors from the Caribbean, from the United States, London, and from Canada,” he noted.
Organized by the JAS, the Denbigh Agricultural Show, now in its 56th year, is being staged under the theme: ‘Grow what you eat, eat what you grow’. The show is being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and Jamaica 4-H Clubs.