Fans of Agrofest can anticipate more innovation and diversity for 2019 as the annual agricultural exhibition will follow the theme “Full We Pocket – Eat Local!”
CEO of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul made the revelation during an interview with Barbados TODAY at his Grotto, Beckles Road, St Michael office.
The event now in its 19th year will occur February 22 to 24 and over 300 exhibitors are expected to participate. Paul disclosed that a number of activities will be relocated this year; the inter-school competition will be expanded and there will be an increase of locally manufactured products as agripreneurship was on the rise.
“We talk about innovation and entrepreneurship; we are seeing a lot of people now taking products that are locally derived and doing something very positive with them. We want to… use that as a means of launching the commercial aspect of it. So that is something we will be trying to promote as exhibitors of Agrofest,” Paul revealed.
Although he was tight-lipped, Paul revealed that the event is welcoming a new sponsor that will breathe life into the exhibit and its exhibitors.
The BSA CEO added that Agrofest was recommitting to engaging the youth. Although he was unable to give statistics, Paul said that there was a significant increase in youth participation during the three-day exhibition last year.
“We have seen, over the years, a tremendous interest in terms of our young people. Last year we saw for the first time a large percentage of young people coming out and exhibiting not only vegetables but livestock and other things,” Paul said.
“We want to build on what happened last year, especially at this point when we are seeing these kinds of economic difficulties. Agriculture is going to make the difference in terms of trying to provide Barbadians with sustainable jobs that will help them to feed their families.
“That is why coming to Agrofest is important because… we will be showing you the different opportunities that are available in agriculture and how [you] can actually make a living and feed [your] families out of agriculture,” Paul added.