AGROFEST is the National Agricultural Exhibition in Barbados, sponsored annually by the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS). It is the premier Agricultural Exhibition in Barbados, attracting large numbers of local and international patrons with exhibitors displaying a variety of livestock, vegetables, flowers, plants, craft items and educational items.
It is held in Queen's Park, a lovely location in the Bridgetown area.
Nine years ago, agricultural officials were faced with the dilemma of how to once more get Barbadians excited about agriculture and livestock farming.
As a child growing up, there was a large Annual Agricultural Exhibition which showcased all the best livestock and farming produce on the island. It became extinct, since many folk were drifting away from farming, especially the younger ones, who preferred the "collar and tie" jobs over the "fork and hoe" jobs.
In order to reintroduce this exhibition, the BAS think tanks reinvented the concept and it became AGROFEST....an instant success. From its inauguration in 2005, it has blossomed into one of the most popular events on the local calendar attracting thousands of patrons every year, both young and old.
This year's exhibition was held from February 22-24, 2013 with the theme "Renewable Energy:Leading the Charge into the Future."
Yesterday afternoon, I set off to enjoy myself at this year's exhibition, and enjoyed myself I did.
There was so much to see and do.
I wish I could show you everything, but it's quite impossible to do so.
No need to worry, no smoking is permitted in the park during the exhibition...nice clean air, so come on, let's go.
Renewable and sustainable energy setup
Note the solar panels on the roof of the display
Biogas digester produces enough energy to........
.......run a battery which in turn can power a multitude of home equipment
Get back to growing your own food
Seedlings of every herb imaginable
Produce from the land
Easy planting setup
All manner of farmyard equipment
Chickens or as we call them here "fowls" and "fowl cocks"
Rabbits...aren't they adorable?
Schools are becoming more involved, and some now have full agricultural programmes, or are implementing agricultural projects, like building rabbitries.
There is also a school garden competition which is getting bigger every year.
"I am taking home a ribbon today"
Barbados black belly sheep
Sheep judging competition
Time for an afternoon siesta
Wonder where these two are off to?
Oh yes, the children's play area
The kids were having a great time on the mechanical bull
There was a children's Petting Zoo area as well.
This little one was intrigued by the turtle
"Does it have teeth?"
All kinds of fish surrounded by kids yearningly asking, "Mummy can I have one?
It was impossible to take in everything, but of course you know, I HAD to find the plants and the floral displays by the Barbados Horticultural Society.
So many patrons wandering by, I had to wait a while before I could snap these photos quickly.
Leaving it all behind
So many areas that I did not get the chance to view like the interactive educational workshops, the demonstrations on plant care & flower arranging, and talks highlighting the journey of agricultural products from the farm to the table.
The exhibition is a great networking tool, and provides the perfect opportunity to meet local vegetable and fruit farmers, livestock farmers, fishermen, as well as persons involved in horticulture and other areas of agriculture.
According to our Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), James Paul, "it is arguably the best organised agricultural show in the Caribbean."
I hope that you enjoyed this tour of AGROFEST 2013 with me.