Barbados Agricultural Society’s annual exhibition, Agrofest returned this year after a two-year hiatus much to the delight of farmers, craft persons and processors of agricultural products.
Among the many exhibitors gathered at the historic Queen’s Park, in The City were several entrepreneurs from the Division of Youth Affairs’ Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) programme.
Adora from the Bajan-inspired brand, Own Way Apparel, was among those featured. Own Way has grown in popularity for its representation of Bajan culture and colloquial terms. For example, through such terms as “Wuh gine on?”, “yuh too sweet”. I “speezzz. . . my sexy friend” and even the rhetorical question, “wait, you still living?” emblazoned on various pieces of apparel.
“We want to get Barbadians out of the habit of just representing Barbados in November and try to make it an all-year-round thing. We also try not to focus too much on the blue, yellow and black because we have a lot more to show in terms of the Bajanisms. . . . We also aim to present and promote the culture,” Adora added.
Keriah Scantlebury of Organika also displayed some of her products including cassava and other root crop flours, healthy alternatives for your cereals as well as baking needs.
Lauding the opportunity to be had at Agrofest, she explained that her business is less than a year old. Thus far, their major challenge has been production.
“. . .Processing of the cassava because at this point, we don’t have a big set of people to do the cassava. So, the processing, the peeling, the grinding the pressing all of that is what I would say is the most challenging.
Kiara Riley, owner of Kiara’s Enterprise also highlighted some of the difficulties that her eight-year-old business has faced. The main one is achieving and maintaining standards, which have been improved as a result of her integration into YES for about a year.
“So that you have everything… all of your procedures are in place, so that you know how to manage your money, knowing how to set up properly for expos like this,” Riley explained.
Kiara’s Enterprise produces local delights such as nutcakes, sugarcakes [and] tamarind balls. As well as, sweetbread, banana bread, and cassava pone. Riley also expressed her goal to enter the catering sector.
“We are not only looking at the sweet side but the whole culture [and] food experience in Barbados,” she added.