Agriculture Show - A Hot Success
April has been an unusually hot and dry month, but more than 24,000 Belizeans braved the heat and dust to hunt for bargains and other deals and special offers at this year’s annual National Agricultural and Trade show in Belmopan over the Labor Day weekend from April 29 - May 1.
There were the traditional displays of prize cows and calves, for beef and dairy, top Brahman bulls, horses and other livestock and other agricultural produce, but this year’s show was about trade.
Quality Poultry chicken and Running W brand sausages and processed meats, both from the Cayo district, have become household names. Both companies had booths promoting their products with fairground special prices.
Agro-processing has become big business, as another household name – Western Dairies, showed with its range of milk products, ice cream, yoghurt, cheeses, bottled juices and even bottled water! Caribbean Pride citrus juices from Citrus Products of Belize and Bradley’s “Cool Delight” fruit drinks were also there to give them a run for their money.
At the main entrance, fair-goers were greeted by the Belize Telemedia booth, which offered deals on cell phones beginning at $199 in a choice of models and manufacturers and more sophisticated touch-screen phones starting at $299. Not to be outdone, Smart Speednet also offered similar deals on its line of models at their booth just across the way.
Several cellphone importers, such as VIP Wireless and Cellular Plus, also offered deals on more high end models, such as the Apple iphone 3G and 4G. Other importers also exhibited a range of household electrical and electronic appliances such as flat screen TVs, fans, stereos, irons and electric cookers.
Homemakers looking for innovative ways to decorate their homes needed look no further than the Medina’s Furniture and Woodcrafts booth also near the main entrance, offered fine mahogany furniture, upholstered lazy-boys and sofas, tables, and other decorative items made from the finest of Belizean hardwoods. Leewen Furniture also showcased their range of products.
The Grace Kennedy Belize booth offered many bargains on it line of Grace food products, and the agents for Softy toilet tissue also offered special deals, as did the San Cas group of companies at their booth.
The local banks also offered their full range of services, so if you wanted to put your money down on a new tractor, pickup or Harley Davidson motorcycle, they were there to provide the financing.
Besides the usual fairground rides, there were many other diversions for young and old alike such as horse-back riding, a petting zoo, go-kart riding, and the annual rodeo.
There were booths promoting social services such as the Community Parenting Program and the National AIDS Commission aggressively pushing their campaign for Belizeans to get tested and to know their HIV status.
Taiwanese entrepreneurs also offered decorative potted house plants and cactuses, clothing, handmade jewelry, snacks, and refreshing cold tea, soya milk, milk tea, noni juice, and other fruit juices.
Belizeans also had a chance to learn about a range of new products and services at the Mexican Pavilion, sponsored by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, SENASICA, and the state governments of Quintana Roo and Yucatan.
The “Guayaberas Palacio” company presented traditional guayabera shirts, while the dairy company “Productos Lacteos y Derivados La Caribeña” offered an assortment of Mexican cheeses, such as the Oaxaca, Ranchero, Panela, Cotija and Chihuahua. The “Hidroponia Maya” company specializes in growing habanero peppers, cucumber and sweet peppers through hydroponics which nourishes green plants without soil.
“Materias Primas SAHI” offered their range of cleaning items and automotive chemicals; and the companies “Fiestas Mexicanas” and “Kin Kix” showcased their piñatas and other party favours and accessories.
Dr. Gabino Galvan, a visiting expert from the Agricultural Health Authority of Mexico (SENASICA), made a special presentation on animal diseases to livestock producers and other interested parties at the OIRSA conference room at the show grounds on Saturday, while The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) also provided phytosanitary information about the requirements for exports to Mexico.
The British High Commission also had a booth promoting UK trade and investment partnerships, and fair goers could sample British sausages and beers at another booth.
BATSUB may be down sizing its operation in Belize, but it had a booth displaying the services they offer.
There was also a strong presence of Belizean security forces patrolling the fairgrounds to ensure that all went well and that the fair goers could enjoy themselves without incident. The Reporter