The National Agriculture and Trade Show was held over the weekend. Thousands flocked to the nation’s capital for the annual event that featured the country’s finest crops and animals and of course – what would agric be without some good food, entertainment, and promotional deals. There were quite some changes in this year’s agenda, including a no drinking zone as well as a greater emphasis on Belize’s agriculture industry. PlusTV covered the two day event, where we spoke with Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, the Hon. Gaspar Vega.
Hon Gaspar Vega – Minister Natural Resources & Agriculture:
I’m very delighted, very satisfied, with the outcome. I sincerely believe that the success that we’re having is because people realize that we’re making some good changes, positive changes, in the grounds, to ensure that people can come and have fun, bring their entire family. If you notice we have a couple little parks where we have slides, see-saws, swings for little kids. We truely want to demonstrate the products, the goods, that our farmers are producing. Also we want to ensure that people can come and have fun with their their entire family.
If you weren’t able to attend this year, here’s just a bit of what the show had to offer.
Manuel Trujillo – National Corps Coordinator:
What happened is that produce is very important to the economic development of this country. We have products like coconuts that have export potential, as well as other products like avocados particularly that can have an export market. We can produce avocados practically here. We have different types.
Jenine Williams – Administrative Assistant, Egoli Estate:
This is the layout of our Estate. If you notice all the green areas are where the houses will be. In the future we’re going to have a big shopping mall, the Egoli Twin Towers, Police Sub-station, a service station, a gas station, Fire Station, Sports Recreational Center. We also have an Eco-park.
Neri Bol – Acting Aquaculture Coordinator:
This group is the Aquaculture Unit, and we are the unit responsible for the promotion of the culturing of Talapia, either the red ones or the black ones. Currently, right now, we have 65 farmers in Belize that are presently culturing.
Marcel Bedran – Pine Lumber company Limited:
We’d like to highlight some of the different woods that we’re using, and we could start right here where we’re standing. We’re on four different local Belizean hardwoods. Presently you’re standing on Augusta, and then the other one next to it is Barba de Holote. We have Santa Maria, and we have the Billy Webb. Continuing along, this is an Adirondack chair with its footstall. Again this is Mahogany. This picnic table is that stack over there now. You will be able to buy it from us. It’s called flat pack. In a zip-lock bag are the instructions how to assemble, and the nuts and bolts, and you can set it up. Take it home, and it will be like this.
The Belmopan Active Youth Marching Band, BAY, fresh off their stellar performance at this year’s Band Fest, kicked off the Rodeo Show with a parade through the grounds.
Anna Guy – Belmopan Active Youth Marching Band:
This is the first time that the Marching Band is performing at the National Agriculture and Trade Show, so we are very excited to that band, which is of course the Belmopan Active Youth Marching Band. I believe most of you know that this year we actually entered the National Band-fest competition for the first time, and we won in two different categories: third place for Drum Corps; and first place for Best Uniform. So we’re just displaying and showcasing some of the talents of our beautiful City, Belmopan.
The Rodeo Show is one of the most anticipated activities at Agric and this year didn’t disappoint. Here are highlights of the bull riding competition, plus a chit chat with the winners.
Allison Coye – First Place Bull Riding:
I feel good and I thank God for giving me the strength to come out here. The bull was a difficult to ride because it changed direction on me. When you’re riding with a left hand and the bull turn left, everything is going fine. But as soon as it turned to the right, that’s when your right hand come in and it’s difficult for you to make that adjustment with the bull, because he’s very strong. You just have to get out and ride and try your best.
Wilbert Pinnex – Second Place Bull Riding:
He haul me about a lot but I was ready for it. He was big and strong. He jump and break with me. It hard but I get back. I thank God.
In that competition, the reigning champ Allison Coye, though he didn’t make 8 seconds, still garnered 65 points – 35 for the bull and 30 for his performance. He lasted 6 seconds on the bull. Meanwhile, 2nd place Wilbert Pinnex, got to the 8 second mark, but what lost him points the judges say, was that the bull was not dancing enough. He finished with 30 points each for himself and the bull, a total of 60 points.
Thankfully, there have been no reports of bloodshed at this year’s Agric show, but it still didn’t go without incident, as thieves stole a vehicle from the show grounds parking lot. Owner of the red 1996 Nissan pick-up, told Police that he parked his car in the lot around 6:40pm, but when he returned at 10 o’clock, the truck was nowhere to be found. Police say they are investigating the matter.