Friday 18 September, 2020

More will be done to capitalise on Crop Over

Culture Minister Stephen Lashley at the 2017 Crop Over Awards Ceremony.

Culture Minister Stephen Lashley at the 2017 Crop Over Awards Ceremony.

Plans are in the pipeline to better capitalise on the economic potential of the Crop Over Festival, which has been described as “the most marketable cultural/festival tourism product Barbados has to offer.”

This is according to Culture Minister, Stephen Lashley, who highlighted a number of aspects in which more value can be added to the Barbados economy through Crop Over.

Speaking over the weekend at the Crop Over Awards Ceremony, Lashley indicated there are plans to enact special legislation to license the Crop Over and associated brands.

These measures, he indicated, would in part address a situation where “many enjoy the value and benefits redounding from the season without contributing to its growth.”

He also pointed to revamping policies which would allow for easier facilitation of vending, designated party zones, and reform of entertainment and liquor licensing.

And, according to Lashley, despite differing opinions, he was confident that the National Cultural Foundation was the right agency to continue guiding the growth of the festival.

“I have heard at least one view that Crop Over has now outgrown the NCF and that we should look at have another entity produce Crop Over. And I have differed from this perspective because it is clear to me that not only has the NCF done extremely well to build the festival, but the fact that Crop Over has grown has not been by happen stance or by chance but by careful strategic planning particularly over the past five years led by the NCF and the stake holders,” he said.

Lashley added that this season, in particular, Barbados on a whole had proven it has the creative and technical capacity to produce major events – from hosting a “highly successful” Crop Over Festival to the “mega festival” of CARIFESTA to the Caribbean Premier League cricket.

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