The main organiser of Agrofest, the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), is aiming to increase patronage for the seven year-old event.

This is according to President of the BAS, James Paul, who revealed that while numbers for the national exhibition were quite healthy, with some 60, 000 persons passing through last year, the BAS was looking to go even higher this year.

He was speaking today at an Agrofest 2012 Vendors’ Food Workshop at the Dining Club, Newton, Christ Church, where vendors were sensitised to the benefits of using locally grown produce in food preparation, particularly in the control, prevention and reduction of chronic non-communicable diseases. They also explored new, creative and healthy methods of preparing meals.

Mr. Paul said the BAS would be changing its lineup of activities on the opening day of Agrofest, Friday, February 24, in an effort to boost the numbers.

"Friday evenings tend to be the time we have the lowest attendance; so, we are trying to introduce some events which we hope would increase the number of patrons attending…things such as a reggae evening with local entertainers…we are also aiming to increase the attractiveness of the events on Fridays, so it would just not be the school children," he pointed out.

Also being planned for Friday evening in Queen’s Park will be Dinner under the Stars, which will see some 300 patrons enjoying the best of local cuisine prepared by renowned Barbadian chef, Peter Edey.

In addition to these changes, the exhibition would be spreading its wings to the Weymouth ???B’ pasture where a children’s area and several other exhibits will be housed.

The 60 vendors at today’s workshop were treated to presentations by representatives of the National Commission for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and the Ministry of Health who touched on the topics Health, Food and Taste: Can We Have It All? ??And, Requirements for Preparing Meals for Patrons.

Agrofest 2012 will run from February 24 to 26 in Queen’s Park, and will have as its theme Renewable Energy: Powering Agriculture to Success.

Further information on the annual event may be obtained by contacting the Agrofest Secretariat, c/o The Barbados Agricultural Society, The Grotto, Beckles Road, St. Michael, at 436-6683, fax number 435-0651, email address agrofest@caribsurf.com or by visiting the website www.basonevoice.org.


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