The highly anticipated Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show put on by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) will make a scheduled return this summer, following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event’s official launch held on Wednesday (June 22), Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jr said the 68th staging of the show, slated for July 30 to August 1, should be one that “makes a statement to Jamaica and to the region”.
The event which will take place at its usual home, the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, is being done under the theme ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’.
Speaking on the show’s return, the minister noted: “We want energy, we want excitement. We want us to be aggressively moving, and this must be done in a way that shows that we’ve been hibernating for two years and we have the energy of two years.”
In meantime, JAS President, Lenworth Fulton, said ‘Denbigh 68’ should be the organisation’s best, as “it will be purposeful and very targeted”.
He pointed out that during most of the pandemic, the JAS was unable to execute many of its signature events.
“But I am pleased to report that since the restrictions have been lifted, we have been able to take the JAS out of the state of hibernation and we got it back active, where within the last three to four months, we have staged four successful parish events,” said Fulton.
He noted that these smaller events were “test runs to see if we could manage the great Denbigh”.
He shared that the aim of the event is to facilitate networking across the sector with a view to sharpening some subsectors.
The president said that he is hoping to see more young farmers and women involved in the activities.
Among the features of this year’s show are a youth in agriculture village, agricultural and horticultural displays, livestock displays, children’s village, a health and wellness village, a National Farm Queen coronation and a Gospel show.
The festivities will begin with a build-up event on Saturday, July 23, where a Farmers’ Run/Walk will take place in Clarendon.
On Saturday, July 30, dubbed the Minister’s Day, the National Farm Queen Coronation will take place as well as youth-centred activities.
On Sunday, July 31, recognised as the Governor-General’s Day, a Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel extravaganza is set to entice patrons.
Then on Monday, August 1, the Prime Minister’s Day, the event will culminate with a showcase of Jamaica’s culture and an exciting local artiste.
The event’s stakeholders are promising tight security, ample parking and the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of patrons over the course of the event.
‘Denbigh 68’ is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica 4-H Clubs, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Hi-Pro, HEART/NSTA Trust, Development Bank of Jamaica, H&L Agro, Caribbean Chemicals Jamaica Limited, Massy Distribution, Bay’Z, Restaurants of Jamaica Limited, National Land Agency, Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited, Wray and Nephew and media
Gates will be open from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily. Admission is J$1,200 for adults and J$600 for children. Tickets will be available at the gate.