|Governor General, Sir Elliott Belgrave (right) and Lady Belgrave (third right) on a tour of Agrofest with BAS, CEO, James Paul (centre).(A. Miller/BGIS)|
The recent General Election impacted on the number of patrons attending Agrofest this year, however, it was still a success!
This was disclosed by Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), James Paul, while speaking to the Barbados Government Information Service today. ??Mr. Paul disclosed that from all indications, box offices were sold out but he was yet to verify the final figures. The BAS are the organisers of Agrofest.
He explained that all three days of the exhibition, which ran from February 22 -24 in Queen’s Park, The City, saw a decline in sales as well as the number of patrons.
"It went well, taking into consideration the circumstances and the fact that it was after the General Election. It did impact on our attendance on Saturday and, to a lesser extent, on Sunday. On [Saturday], I think we had a wonderful crowd. From that point of view, I think we had a relatively successful Agrofest; the support from the public was still there. I do not have the figures as yet and we haven’t done an estimate as to how many tickets were sold, but within a day or so we should have that [information]," the CEO stated.
He added that the opening day was particularly difficult for exhibitors because the usual influx of school children was not there this year.
"We did not have the schools attending in the numbers they are accustomed to. Some of the exhibitors did complain about Friday’s and Saturday’s sales but [on] Sunday, once people returned, everything went back to normal.
The attendances came back to normal and once that happened, things were a lot better," Mr. Paul said.
In addition, he pointed out that in terms of security, no negative incidents were reported. One of the highlights of the event was the Solar House set up by a local company in the Renewable Energy Theme Park. Mr. Paul, however, lamented the fact that they did not have enough exhibitors as expected for the theme park.
The usual staples such as the animals were a hit with both adults and children, he noted. The CEO also cited products such as Mauby Milk and My Milk which were promoted at Agrofest, as winning favour with patrons.
"My Milk, that was good from the point of view that the samples were going well. There has been a lot of controversy with milk. I think [Agrofest] was a good time to promote milk and it seemed like it went very well. The event is about product promotion to the extent that we had three different institutions promoting milk – the Rural Development Commission, another farmer and the Pine Hill Dairy," Mr. Paul said.