Black Immigrant Daily News
Within a matter of hours or a few days, the spots for snocone vendors for Agrofest 2023 were filled, and the calls were aplenty from retail vendors, yet an appeal has to be issued now for more agribusiness owners to start to come forward.
This was the plea from Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul.
come out, show what you are doing. Get other people involved, get the loyalty.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, January 4, during a site visit at Queen’s Park, The City, Paul argued that more persons with agribusinesses need to grasp the opportunity that Agrofest presents for them to market their businesses.
“The problem is that agribusinesses need to start to come forward. We cannot any longer promote a sector by hiding what we have, and those persons who are in agribusiness have to recognize that we cannot claim to want more from the government if at the same time when the opportunity is presented to us to demonstrate what we are doing, that we fear to do so.
“So you can’t blame the government with this statement – ‘I don’t know what is happening in this sector because I ain’t seeing it,’ and not only that, here’s an opportunity to get people motivated, because if you [are] hiding what you have, who’s going to be interested?”
With no shortage of persons wanting to sell toys and non-agriculture products, he lamented, “Sadly one of the things I find agriculturalists do, they shoot themselves in the foot each time by trying to sort of emphasize the negative without saying, ‘Look, at the same time I would not be in agriculture if I was not making money.’ In fact, that happens in all spheres of business in this country because they try to hide the fact that, ‘Look, I am in it because I am here to make money, and if I am not making money why should I be in it?’”
The agriculture CEO also argued that young people will not be attracted to the sector if they are not seeing the gains with their own two eyes.
“Even young people, young people are not going to be attracted to the sector if they are not making money. That is as simple as that. And we think our job is not to highlight the fact there are people doing very well in agriculture and they are making money, they are making a contribution to the economy.”
“So, therefore, I am appealing to those persons who are in agribusiness to come out, show what you are doing. Get other people involved, Get the loyalty. Because in a sense what I’ve found about Barbadians is that once it is Barbadian, they are willing to support it.”
Paul also disclosed that Agrofest’s deadline for registration closes on January 15, 2023.