RDC to help goods go beyond Agrofest
He said this is an issue that the Rural Development Commission (RDC) has to look into so that persons can have that platform to always showcase their products and services.
Speaking to media following a tour of the just concluded Agrofest three-day event, he said while it is good to grow local, he says there must be a location where you can advertise.
Over the past two years, he stated that they have been looking at the possibility of creating more farmers market within the community. It is something he said they must forge ahead with, so if the farmers plant there is somewhere they can market their produce.
“Over the last year or two we have been looking at the possibilities of creating more farmers’ markets with the communities and that is something I think we have to impress on our people to ensure that if the farmers plant, they have somewhere to market their produce,” he said.
He has assured that the RDC will do what they can to help farmers and persons with products locally made to find that platform to market their goods.
Moreover, he stressed, “We need to see how we can find a permanent base for them so they can advertise and reduce our import bill.”
Noting what has just come out of the new Physical Development Plan Draft Amendment, where it was stated that the requirements for agricultural land amount to 30 000 acres for use ranging from the sugar cane industry to food crops, but at the same time only 28 000 acres remain which means that there is already a shortfall of land for agricultural use, Kellman said, “What we have to see is how the innovation from the exhibitors would allow us to have the capacity for the 30 000 and how we at rural can help those persons to maximize the acres they have left.”
He said they must look at finding that 2 000 acres amongst the small farmers that might not be counted as agricultural land. He proposed that there might be small farmers across the island with land and not using it, so “We have to get persons who are interesting in using that land to use it.”
The Barbados Agriculture Society (BAS) was lauded by Kellman also for making the annual event as successful, innovative and as impressive as it is year after year.