THE Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show is expected to host its first 5K run on July 8.
The announcement was made at the launch of the 66th anniversary of the show by Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS) president Senator Norman Grant on Friday.
According to Grant, proceeds from the 5K, which is expected to get under way at 6:30 am on the Denbigh Showground, May Pen Clarendon, will go towards the setting up of the JAS Disaster Relief Fund, which will assist farmers and fishermen who are affected by disasters.
Grant said he is expecting at least 250 participants for the race, under the theme: “Run come support the farmers — Agriculture: securing our future.
At the same time, Grant appealed to the public and other institutions to contribute to the foundation for a worthy cause.
The outgoing JAS president also said $750,000 from the $2 million the 5K is projected to make is to be pumped into the foundation for the JAS Disaster Relief Fund to provide seeds, among other things, to resuscitate the agriculture sector.
During the launch, Grant told stakeholders that disasters cost the sector more than $15 billion over the last 12 years.
“The work that RADA [Rural Agricultural Development Authority] does in giving out $250 million worth of seeds, and giving out so late, had no real impact on the recovery programme. I think a national crop insurance scheme would have addressed that in a significant way,” Grant said.
Meanwhile, Grant said the target for this year’s three-day show — scheduled for August 4 to 6 under the theme: “Grow What We Eat … Eat What We Grow” — is expected to generate $75 million, a million up from last year’s staging.
“We want to use some of those proceeds, as well, to pledge to the disaster fund so that we have something continuously that will be supporting the farmers,” said Grant. This year’s show, he said, should attract more than 100,000 patrons, while there will be more than 200 exhibitors.
Senator Grant told the Jamaica Observer that the JAS will also be launching its foundation at the end of the month.