The 2019 Regional Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition (RACE) has been deemed highly successful. This is according to chairman of the Regional Agricultural Committee, Tracy Johnson. Johnson in giving an update of the event said that several persons, agencies and individuals all collaborated thus resulting in its success. The event was held on September 20 last opposite the Mackenzie Market and attracted a large turnout of farmers and persons viewing the exhibition.
He said that among some of the persons gracing the event included the Minister of Business, Hemraj Rajukmar; Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Valerie Patterson; Regional Chairman Renis Morian; Regional Vice Chairman; Elroy Adolph; Member of Parliament (MP), Audwin Rutherford; Regional Executive Officer (REO); Orrin Gordon; and Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Maylene Stephens.
He disclosed that this year was much better than last year, pointing to the increase in vending. “This year was significantly more successful as while there were 35 vendors last year we had 58 this year which is a 20 percent increase,” he said. He revealed that during the event a tractor was also commissioned for agriculture in the region, stressing that it will greatly boost the region’s agricultural drive.
He singled out the assistance of NICIL’s acting CEO, Colin Heath-London, for what he described as enormous and continuous support to the region’s agricultural efforts. He noted that NICIL has been aiding the region significantly, thus affording it an opportunity to achieve set and outlined objectives. “We must identify Mr Colvin Heath-London for his enormous and significant work that he has helped us here within the region in accomplishing as it was his personal involvement that has helped us significantly in making this event and more so helping to push agricultural development within the region successful,” Johnson said.
He told those gathered that the Agricultural Committee has received continued commitment from NICIL that they would lend whatever assistance needed in further advancing agricultural development within the region. Johnson said that based on the response given by vendors the agricultural committee is satisfied that the desire and interest by all is to have an agricultural fair each month so as to continue showcasing the gains made by agriculture within the region.
“From the feedback received by the public it was pointed out to us that there is a need for an agricultural fair each month as residents and farmers. This request comes in the wake persons saying that they would like to showcase their agricultural produces each month and that they are depending on the region to have this exhibition each month so as to ensure that the public can be made aware of what farmers within Region 10 have to offer,” the Agricultural Committee Chairman said.
He revealed that one of the major challenge facing farmers is that in the absence of an agricultural fair they are forced to sell their produce much cheaper because of limited market. He therefore stressed that with a monthly fair it would help in further marketing what residents have to offer, thus helping to reduce the challenge of securing markets for them. “Many of these farmers are forced to go to Georgetown to sell their produce and because of the limited market available many persons in Region 10 are not aware of what they have to offer. They (the farmers) are forced many times to sell their produce far cheaper than what they are worth as they seek to prevent them from spoiling,” he said.
Johnson also noted that to ensure that all farmers can benefit equally they are looking at holding it on both sides of the bank. As such, Johnson revealed that the committee took a decision to hold a mini agricultural fair on the last Friday of this month (October 25). “We are expecting to host this event at the Georgetown to Linden Bus Park. I do look forward to the continued support and assistance of this administration as we are now reaping as it relates to agricultural development within the region,” he said.
He said that the committee is on a massive agricultural drive, therefore whatever support and help that can be given by various stakeholders, including the regional administration, would aid significantly in advancing agricultural development.
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