Anticipation is high for the return of the major Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), which was officially launched today (June 22). The 68th staging of the event follows a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will take place at its usual home, the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, under the theme ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the event, slated for July 30 to August 1, should be one that “makes a statement to Jamaica and to the region”.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the event, at the Jamaica Broilers Group Corporate Office in St Catherine. “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,” he said.
Meanwhile, 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, were within the last three to four months, we have staged four successful parish events,” he noted.
According to Mr Fulton, these smaller events were “test runs to see if we could manage the great Denbigh”. The President said the aim of the event is to facilitate networking across the sector with a view to sharpening some subsectors, and 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, health and wellness village, the National Farm Queen coronation, a Gospel show and more.
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 Minister’s Day, the National Farm Queen Coronation will take place as well as youth-centred activities. While on Sunday, July 31, the Governor-General’s Day, and a Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel extravaganza are 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.
In the meantime, stakeholders are promising tight security, ample parking and the reinforcement 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 partners.
Gates will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Admission is $1,200 for adults and $600 for children. Tickets will be available at the gate.