The Hague Agricultural Show, to be held in Trelawny from February 24 to 25, will be observing its 49th anniversary this year.
Dubbed, ‘The Power of 49’, the show will be staged under the theme: ‘We are what we eat – eat Jamaican’. Organisers expect to spend about $1.7 million to stage the show.
Addressing a press launch on January 28 at Sandals Montego Bay Hotel, Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke said the Hague Agricultural Show not only gave the farmers of Trelawny an opportunity to showcase their produce, but also provided them with a forum for the exchange of information on improved production techniques, the adoption of which was critical, “if Jamaica is not going to be left at the wicket in the unfolding liberalized trading environment”.
“The planned mini-set yam exhibition at this year’s show is also appropriate, as with 40,000 hectares of yam under cultivation, Trelawny is the premier yam producing parish in the island,” he pointed out. Mr. Clarke said despite the fact that in 2002 Trelawny’s yam export earnings totalled US$6.35 million, there was still room for improvement, given the efficiencies to be derived from using the mini-set technology.
Pointing to the country’s pride of place as the second largest exporter of yam to the United States, accounting for approximately US$11 million annually, the Minister noted that the government has already sourced millions of dollars for the training of farmers in the use of the mini-set technique.
“We must move now to exploit this competitive advantage to the fullest and the theme for this year’s show, ‘we are what we eat – eat Jamaican’, underscores the urgent need for us all to unite and preserve our agricultural sector,” Mr. Clarke said.
Some of the main attractions at the show include a special branch competition, which will see the winner receiving $100,000.00; a young farmers’ competition, with prizes of $30,000.00 for first place and $15,000.00 for second; and a calf scramble for 4-H clubbites, in which 10 calves will be let loose, to be caught and claimed by the lucky young persons.
A special tribute will also be paid to well known Trelawny farmer, K.D. Pinnock, who has been involved with cattle for more than 40 years.