The 13th staging of Agrofest was another success, according to chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) James Paul.
He reported that “it was an improvement from what we had last year”, with the number of people who attended the annual agricultural festival at Queen’s Park surpassing last year.
Paul said that given the interest and suggestions that the event be held for four days instead of three, careful consideration was being given to expanding Agrofest.
He made the comments to members of the media after a tour of Agrofest that was also attended by Minister of Housing and Lands Dennis Kellman, who also had high praise for the event.
The touring delegation visited a number of Rural Development Commission (RDC) clients, some of which included the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Earth Mother Botanicals, Bajan Balms Aromatherapy and Exotic Printz.
Kellman said he was “very impressed” by what he had seen.
“The tour was rather interesting and every year I look forward to seeing new innovation like I saw today,” he said.
The minister was particularly excited to see that shoemakers were not only making sandals but other types of footwear as well.
However, Kellman was concerned about how the farmers and other entrepreneurs would advertise once the exhibition was over.
“It is one thing to grow, but it is another thing to be able to have a location where you can advertise,” he said, noting that the RDC had been exploring the possibility of having more farmers’ markets within communities.
During their interaction with the media, Kellman and Paul dismissed claims that young people are not gravitating toward agriculture, noting that Agrofest continues to be especially popular with the youth.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited some of the stalls, vendors had mixed views about the event.
It was the first time for Keisha Moore of Trendy U Apparel exhibiting, but she made it clear it would not be her last.
“I am very thankful for the sales. This is my first time at Agrofest and for me it was been very good exposure,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to being back next year. The majority of her sales came from make-up and watches.
Trudi Braithwaite of Xpressions, another first timer, described her experience as “moderate”.
“It started off a little slow but things have been picking up. I did a lot of makeovers, eyebrows, and lash applications. For my first time it was pretty good for me.”
Over at Dionne’s Place, storeowner Judy Knight who is a regular exhibitor at Agrofest said this year’s sales were “very poor” compared to last year.
She blamed the lack of spending on the economic situation and the $18 entry fee for adults.