The National Agriculture Trade Show (NATS) name has morphed into Agric Show. The 2016 Agric Show, held on the fairgrounds in Belmopan from April 29 – May 1, drew 39,500 visitors. The 50 acre plus fairgrounds have been updated each year with a vision to eventually use the NATS fairground for a year-round Saturday marketplace with new barns, a permanent horticulture garden and tilipia farm as a training ground for future farmers in Belize with the support of Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega. Mr. Vega is dedicated to helping small farms succeed with the goal of helping Belize reduce its dependence on imports and become more secure in food production and distribution.
Some highlights of the 2016 Agric Show included a showcase farming exhibit created by Central Farm
of crops that grow well in Belize to inspire Belize famers and backyard gardeners. The innovative cooperatives section of the fair featured many wonderful products made by creative agro-processing villagers including plants, jams and jellies, hot sauces, juices, soy milk, moringa and hand crafts.
Ever Blandson, owner of a thirty-eight acre farm in Valley of Peace was recognized as senior farmer of the year. Woman farmer of the year, Maria Consuelo Lara, is from Trio Village in the Toledo District.
Eric Can was recognized as junior farmer of the year. Eric lives in San Jose Succotz, in the Cayo District. His specialty is beekeeping and growing vegetables. All these farmers have diversity and agro-processing with value-added products from their crops.
The Agric Show also included a rodeo, animal exhibits, an amusement park, many entrepreneurs, communication companies and an array of food vendors.