MONTEGO BAY — Western Jamaica in for an agricultural treat come Easter Monday, April 25, with the staging of the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show, on the Montpelier Show grounds on that day.
Addressing the official launch at the Montego Bay offices of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), on Wednesday April 13, President of the St. James Association of Branch Societies, and National President of the Jamaica Association of Branch Societies (JAS), Glendon Harris, noted that the show, is being staged through a collaborative effort between the JAS and RADA.
He said that this year’s show is costing approximately $2 million to produce, which amounts to over $200,000 more than the 2010 show, and promises to be one of the best agricultural shows to be staged in western Jamaica. It is being held under the theme, “Eat what we grow, grow what we eat”, which is in keeping with a JAS campaign.
According to Mr. Harris, major improvements have taken place on the Montpelier Show grounds over the last year, which has made it more accommodative to exhibiting different aspects of the agricultural sector during the show.
He said that a pig house and a poultry house are two of the new additions for the exhibition of farm animals.
“We have moved, as well, to ensure that the prototype of a goat unit is on the show ground, and in consultation with the Trelawny RADA, there will be a Goat house on the grounds for the show, so that farmers and patrons can see the requirements to enter into proper goat production,” he stated.
He noted that there will also be apiculture and the usual cattle displays, to add to the offerings.
Outlining the intended displays to take place in the area of agronomy, Mr. Harris said that there will be displays showing from the germination of seedlings, ready to replant seedlings, flowering seedlings and bearing seedlings. He said that the display areas will be more organised this year, with great emphasis on the farmers and their produce.
He explained that over 75 per cent of the stalls will be dedicated to the farmers and their produce, whether for exhibit or for sale.
“This year we will have an entire section of the show grounds earmarked for a Farmers Market, we will have farmers there with their produce, and patrons will be able to attend and purchase agricultural produce in that section,” he emphasised.
He said that every effort is also being made to ensure that the show offers a true family experience, with admission cost remaining the same as last year at $500 for adults and $200 for children. Gates will open at 9:00 a.m. on the day.
By BRYAN MILLER