KINGSTON — The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has unveiled several new features, which will be incorporated into this year’s staging of the Denbigh Agri-Industrial and Food Show 2011, in a move to increase patron participation.
According to JAS President, Glendon Harris, the new features are in line with efforts to attract a record number of patrons to the event, which is in its 58th staging.
As part of the new approach, the Denbigh Committee will introduce a Youth in Agriculture Village; Educational Village; Tourism Village; Denbigh Motor Show; Children’s Village; Health Village; Farmers’ Market; Livestock Auction; and a Food Village.
The longstanding event will be held over three days from July 30 to August 1, at the Denbigh Show ground in May Pen, Clarendon, under the theme: ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow: Opportunity and Technology-driven Denbigh 2011’.
Speaking at the launch on June 21, at White Marl, St. Catherine, Mr. Harris said the new focus on technology is deliberate, as the organisation seeks to encourage stakeholders within the sector to provide the platform for the introduction of dynamic innovations, which are technology-driven, to further boost production.
He pointed out that at the event this year, special attention will be placed on segmenting the show grounds in order to ensure that adequate focus is given to a wide variety of interests, as well as to cater to the needs of a wide cross section of patrons in a structured and organised environment. “This will also ensure that patrons will be aware of the various activities and placement of exhibitors and sponsors,” he added.
Each village, Mr. Harris explained, will have its own unique exhibition and will cater to its own unique audience and purpose.
“The objective of the youth in agriculture village is to create awareness amongst the youth of Jamaica about the need to improve agricultural activities, in order to ensure food security and the economic stability of the country,” he said.
The President said July 30, the first day of the event, will be observed as ‘Youth in Agriculture Day’, which will be organised by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs. On the day, there will be a series of competitions, displays and interactive presentations designed to garner increased support from Jamaican youngsters, as well as to make them aware of the critical role they can play in the further development of the sector.
“The Youth in Agriculture Village will also feature demonstrations and career-type presentations throughout the duration of the event,” he added.
Additionally, the Children’s Village will offer child-oriented programmes that will place the interests and security of children at the forefront. “The end result is encouraging even more families to participate in the event, as the attractions will be family centred,” he pointed out.
Mr. Harris said the JAS has also sent a proposal to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) to attain special transportation packages for children attending the function. “We are also hoping to have scheduled bus rides from strategic locations in the Corporate Area to the Denbigh show grounds,” he said.
The JAS is also seeking to partner with the Railway Corporation of Jamaica in order to have train rides available for patrons from Spanish Town directly to the show grounds. “Arrangements are also being made for buggy rides to transport patrons from the train lines to the main entrances of the event,” he noted.
In addition, Mr. Harris informed that after several years of absence the livestock auction will return to Denbigh 2011. “As a tradition of Denbigh activities in the 1960s, the livestock auction will have its resurgence this year as a dynamic and practical means of bidding on and selling top quality cattle to the highest and luckiest bidder. This will be an exciting means of marketing and providing added activities on the show grounds,” said the JAS Head.
He also said the Denbigh motor show will seek to showcase not only auto groups but also various modes of transportation that can be used by farmers to enhance productivity and convenience in the fields.
A special family entertainment package is also being organised for the event, which will include the coronation of the National Farm Queen on Saturday night (July 30); Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza on Sunday night 9July 31); and a Grand Concert featuring finalists of the Digicel Rising Stars, on Monday night (August 1).
Sponsors for the show include: Jamaica Broilers Group, Digicel, Jamaica National Building Society, Caribbean Cement Company and the National Housing Trust.
The Denbigh show is a hallmark event that has been embedded in the unique culture and the broad fabric of the Jamaican farmer from as early as 1953. The show is staged annually by the JAS as part of the country’s Independence and Emancipation celebrations.
Among those attending the launch were: Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton; Opposition Spokesperson on Agriculture, Roger Clarke, and Executive Director of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Al Powel.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter