Agrofest is leading the way in the promotion of sustainable energy solutions.
The exhibition, which will be held from February 22 to 24, will for the first time mount a renewable energy village as part of their effort, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society, James Paul, said.
He was speaking with Barbados TODAY after the official launch of Agrofest 2013 at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in St. Lawrence, Christ Church this morning.
This year’s theme is Renewable Energy-Leading the charge into the Future. The village will be located on the central field at Queen’s Park and he said it would showcase renewable energy options that could be easily incorporated into a person’s daily activities.
“When I talk about renewable energy solutions on the farm it is security monitoring, examples of biogas alternatives, the powering for green houses… At Agrofest we will be having actual, live examples of renewable energy solutions to implement on the farm or in the home — actual examples of how it can be implemented.
“We talk about renewable energy but a lot of people don’t know how to use it so we will show them. We have firms such as Innogen, which are dealing with it, and people from these companies will themselves come to discuss with the people, how they can do it, how they can implement it,” he said.
Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Lennox Chandler, added that for Barbados to have a sustainable agricultural sector it was important to utilise such enterprises “which placed emphasis on the way forward”.
He added that the island must be proactive rather than lag behind the United States, Asia and Europe which have been utilising solar, wind and geothermal energy within their agricultural sectors as well as in the wider society.
“We have now reached the point where we are being forced to embrace the use of renewable energies, on account of soaring feed and food prices, high production costs and an extremely high food import bill. The use of renewable energy can also impact positively on the capacity of the sector to earn foreign exchange regionally and internationally since our products could be more competitively priced,” he said.
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, which is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies to enhance the agricultural sector, being cognizant of the threats to the survival and the viability of the sector has instituted some incentives applicable to the use of renewable energy.
“The ministry intends to persist with its efforts in encouraging the use of renewable energy and will continue to explore other policies and ways in which it can assist and [motivate] those players within the sector, since it is our conviction that our economy can flourish through development of a vibrant agricultural industry which in turn can generate wealth and employment for our citizens,” said Chandler. (KC)†††