JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and telecommunications giant, Digicel, on Monday, May 20, signed a $30 million contract to provide support for the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show over the next three years.

Speaking at the signing event held at Digicel’s downtown Kingston headquarters, JAS President, Senator Norman Grant, commended the company on the partnership, which started 12 years ago.

“We are very excited about this sponsorship, which we see as strategic, and is a perfect fit, because technology is going to help to boost and move agriculture. The way we communicate among our 230,000 farmers, is significant, and this signals the deepening of the relationship between Digicel and the agricultural sector as a whole…we are going to use this opportunity to ensure that we move agriculture in Jamaica to the next level,” he stated.

Senator Grant said the JAS is seeking to diversify the Denbigh show, which started some 61 years ago.

“We are going to be going all out to make this exciting product the very best,” he remarked.

The agreement represents $4 million in cash value, and the remainder in marketing and promotional support, including social media, text promotion, mini board advertising, and signage for the show over the three years. Digicel will also collaborate with the JAS for the entertainment packages for the show on August 6, through the performance of Digicel Rising Star Finalists, Digicel brand ambassadors, and headline acts.

Digicel will also assist the JAS in promoting a number of events and activities including Youth Day on Monday, August 5, which will see students being transported to the showground, and receiving back-to-school packages from Digicel. For this event, the JAS is hoping to attract over 10,000 students.

“It’s a day that children must come to learn about agriculture and to understand that if we are going to drive economic growth and development in Jamaica, it is going to be agriculture that will take us there,” the JAS President said.

Digicel will also work with the JAS in organising a 5K Run. Senator Grant noted that this will tie into the ‘Eat What We Grow’ campaign.

“There is a net benefit in agriculture in terms of import and export…import went up by 2.5 per cent, moving from US$959 million to US$979 million, but exports grew by $50 million over the previous year. So what we are trying to do is say, if you eat local you’ll run well, and you’ll be healthy (and) we are saying let’s eat more of what we grow, and grow more to export…so it’s a major effort that we will be earmarking here,” the JAS President explained.

Sponsorship Manager for Digicel, Tanida Nunes, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, on behalf of Digicel, noting that the company is “in it for the long haul”.

The JAS will be seeking to attract at least 70,000 patrons to the annual agricultural showcase, which will be held from August 4 to 6.

Contact: Alphea Saunders