In its 15th year, Agrofest has continued to showcase the diverse and innovative products from Barbadians and also throughout the region. This Saturday, droves of locals and visitors gathered at the Queens Park for the island’s biggest agricultural exhibition.
With nearly 300 booths taking up the grounds, there was something for everyone – horticulturalists, the animal lovers, the foodies and more.
The theme for this year was Full We Pocket – Eat Local and this was evidenced by the range of innovative local products on display.
One booth that caught the attention of the crowd was Go Coconuts by entrepreneur Mario Turton.
Turton adopted a concept that has been well-received internationally and brought a Barbadian twist. He provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic coconut cocktails served from the coconut shell.
The coconut, engraved with the Agrofest design, was a hit with the adults.
Turton said he saw the concept while in Miami and did his research on how to shave and brand coconuts and later launched the business during Crop Over 2018.
“I never thought I would be doing Agrofest, Holetown Festival or Girlfriends Expo. I literally started to do it for corporate events and party events and then I got calls,” Turton said.
“I have a background in events so by extension, I know what I would like to provide for my patrons and what my patrons like.”
The cosmetology students of the Grantley Adams Memorial Secondary School also received curious looks from patrons who passed their outdoor salon.
Trainer, Gillian Trotman, explained that the course was part of the National/Caribbean Vocational Qualification (NVQ/CVQ) programme. Trotman shared that the school’s participation in Agrofest was geared towards integrating the students into the industry.
“We are hearing that everything is more geared to skill sets but we aren’t seeing it as yet so we need to see that push. We have a lot of students out there who are not high in academia so we need the skills to survive.”
Fifth former student Makayla Grazette said she found the exhibition “interesting”.
Although Agrofest is targeted towards the Barbadian entrepreneurs, there were a number of booths from our regional counterparts.
Donovan Cameron from Jamaica showed patrons how the husks could be transformed into beautiful earrings and bags. The owner of Donovan’s Crafts caught attention with his handbags made from the coconut shell. Exhibiting at Agrofest for the second time in ten years, Cameron said he was pleased with the creativity displayed by the Caribbean people.
“I see some persons are so creative in Barbados using the coconut to make different stuff like bird feeders, cups, baskets. There is a lot of stuff on the different islands where we can use to make a living,” he said. (KK)