Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley has dismissed suggestions that the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is trying to keep a lid on the status of Cohobblopot 2014.
And he says Barbadians will hear more on the matter from the NCF and the Ministry of Culture before the end of the week. The event, considered one of the major fetes of the Crop Over season was cast into doubt earlier this month after the private sector organizer, Premier Events, pulled out.
Minister Lashley said, “We are fully aware that we need to get to the public and explain to them what will happen, but that will happen later this week.”
Meantime, he said figures obtained from the Central Bank of Barbados show that Crop Over contributes more than $100 million to the economy annually.
“Our estimate about three or four years ago was about $80 million so we are talking about growth that is about $20 million in a very short space of time. I think we can very strategically position Crop Over within the context of what we want to achieve in terms of the cultural industries sector . . . you want to place [it] within the context of economic diversification [and] the contribution that the cultural industry can play,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“We recognise that even in terms of our Government statistics, through the Statistical Department, we have to have a line in there that tells us what is the contribution of the cultural sector and we have started to work very closely with the Inter-American Development Bank as well as the OAS to start looking at how we can actually get those systems in place. Those are the ways that we will be able to measure the contribution of the sector,” the minister stated.