Food
JM | Jun 23, 2022

Hi-Pro welcomes return of Denbigh show

/ Our Today

administrator

The Hi-Pro Division of the Jamaica Broilers Group has welcomed the return of the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show, to be held at the Denbigh show ground from July 30 to August 1, and has pledged its continued support as a major sponsor.

Denbigh had a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its last show having been held in 2019.

In welcoming guests to the hybrid launch of Denbigh on Wednesday (June 22) in the conference suite of the Jamaica Broilers Group, Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie, vice president for Hi-Pro, said Denbigh 2022 would be one of the ‘must do’ wholesome, educational and family-oriented activities on the calendar of events as Jamaica celebrates the 60th anniversary of its Independence.

Colonel Jaimie Ogilvie, vice president for Hi-Pro.

In addition, Ogilvie noted that Denbigh 2022 was a call to action for primary producers, the value-added processors, food scientists, integrators, consolidators and distributors to work together to advance the agricultural sector.

“Denbigh is not only for the small farmers and commercial producers, but should be seen and recognised as a marketing and network tool for stakeholders, as well as a great opportunity for  backyard and hobby farmers to benefit from the resource-rich environment,” he continued.

Hi-Pro Supercentre

According to Ogilvie, Denbigh 2022 comes on the heels of Jamaica’s highest ever agricultural production levels in which over of 700,000 metric tons of produce was recorded in 2021. 

“This increase in local production augurs well for the future and can only lead to greater food independence and a reduction in the annual US$1.2-billion food import bill we now have,” he noted.

The vice president of Hi-Pro called for the agriculture sector to look at crops that can be grown locally to substitute for those now being imported, some in great quantities. Such crops are red and gungo peas; carrots; tomatoes; a variety of tubers, as well as citrus, aquaculture, chevon and dairy products. 

“As we expand production and improve quality and consistency, we need to also look at expanding and energising the Agricultural Linkages Exchange (ALEX) and the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), while simultaneously and aggressively increasing our ability to export to critical markets,” he continued.

Jamaica Broilers Hi-Pro Broiler Ration.

Ogilvie said food security has taken on even greater significance since the onset of COVID-19 and especially with the war in Ukraine. He reminded his audience that the JAS motto “eat what you grow and grow what you eat” is even more relevant today. 

However, he noted that stakeholders of the agriculture industry had to be “smart in how we grow to meet the demands of local consumption as well as those of the export market for foreign exchange earnings”.

According to the Hi-Pro vice president, food security at its core addresses the availability of and access to food.

“Part of this has to be establishing a higher level of food independence where we produce more of what we consume without having to rely on external sources of production. This must be a focus for the country, whether you are a large commercial producer, a small farmer or simply growing key food items in your backyard to supplement what you purchase,” he said.

PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNIES OPEN TO BRAND JAMAICA

Ogilvie called for the agriculture industry to be prepared and ready, not just for the domestic space, but the great opportunities that are open to Brand Jamaica and the quality and exclusivity that it represents internationally. 

He said that, as the agriculture sector looks to the future, there is need for a collective effort to establish an environment that facilitates the desired outcome of increased sustainable production. However, the critical elements of this enabling environment should include policy, availability of land, financing and insurance, roads, water and cold storage facilities, as well as incentives for applying technology to production to boost climate smart and resilient productive systems.

READ: Back on track: Denbigh Agricultural Show to make return

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