Top farmers and agro-processors were awarded by the Marketing and National Importing Board during the official opening ceremony of the Grenada Mango Festival and Agriculture Show 2016. The activity was held on July 27th 2016 at the Grenada National Stadium where approximately 75 persons which included MNIB Directors, MNIB CEO, management and Staff, farmers, agro-processors, sponsors, corporate partners, and industry stakeholders attended.
Mr. Bertrand John received the coveted award of being the overall top supplier and male supplier of fresh produce to MNIB in 2015. For the same period, Mrs. Wendy-Ann James was the overall top female farmer while the top youth farmer went to Shinner Alexander. Mr. Oscar Blair who is also a member of the Carriacou Farmers Association was awarded with the top prize for Carriacou.
First time winner Mrs. Valarie Frank of St. Patrick’s was awarded the top female mango farmer while Mr. Christopher Williams of the same parish cropped the top male position – an award he had received for the past three consecutive years.
While the foregoing awards support the MNIB Strategic pillar to; “Increase in produce Supply stream”, the other awards on the day also targeted two other pillars –
“Development of the Agro-processing Industry” and “Development of a viable and robust export sector”. Cyril Cummings operating as Spice Isle Spices, was awarded as the overall Top small Agro-processor while Ms. Vernette Robertson who specializes in confectioneries was awarded as the top small agro-processor from Carricaou. Tropifruit U.K was recognized as top export customer while Spice Island Beach Resort received the first time awarded as a top customer in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Among the official invitees attending was featured speaker, Hon. Oliver Joseph, Minister for Trade, Economic Development, Cooperatives and Labour, and with responsibility for MNIB, and the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford. Minister Joseph challenged MNIB that despite the fact that agriculture has contributed 4% of GDP each year from 2013 to 2015, MNIB must now focus on key crops and increase exports earnings in excess of EC$1M over the next two years. MNIB was also commended for its achievement of increasing the number of farmers served from 1300 to 2000 as well as increasing purchases from 2.5 million pounds to over 4 million pounds over the past three years respectively.
The ceremony was punctuated with speeches from the MNIB’s CEO Ruel Edwards, Chairman, Samuel Andrew and cultural presentation which included performance of the Mango Fest Theme Song by Calypsonian Laser, the appearance of the Mango Mascot and MNIB Mango Ambassadors - a new addition to the this year’s festival.
The objectives of the awards were to strengthen the institutional linkage by building relationships and creating incentives for the various agri-businesses and customers operating in the agriculture sector in Grenada and doing business with MNIB. The exhibition and agriculture show which has become a staple on the calendar occurred on Friday 29th July 2016 at the Grenada National Stadium. It attracted over fifty agro-processors showcasing and selling their products, and featuring a mango breakfast, produce market, children games, health fair, and a display of culture and entertainment for the over 5000 patrons.
This year, sponsors for Grenada Mango Fest and Agriculture Show were: Aqua Blue Water, Summer Juice and Nectar, Waggy T Rental and Sounds, Ministry of Agriculture, Grenada National Lotteries Authority, Green Dot Grenada, Spice Island Beach Resort, True Blue Bay Resort, Digicel, Sol Grenada, Amerijet, Colombian Emralds and Venus Restaurant and Bar.