By Patrick MaitlandEditor-The Agriculturalist
ore than a decade after boasting atotal of 80,215 registered members,the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Jamaica’soldest farmers’ organization, is reporting a92% decline in its membership. The pres-ent membership is only 6,323 members.According to the Society’s Annual Re-port for the period of April 2012 to March31, 2013, all the parishes across the islandhave seen membership plummeted in thehundreds. Clarendon has experienced thesharpest decline in membership with amere 317 members compared with 15,240in 2000.St. Mary has seen a significant loss of 9,637 to 382 members. St Catherine fol-lowed with 598 from 7,584, St. Ann 493 of 6,855, St Elizabeth 377 of 6,550, Man-chester 412 of 6,122, St Thomas 334 of 5304, Trelawny 347 of 4802, Portland 919of 4,131, Westmoreland 624 of 4,040, St.Andrew 759 of 3,847, St. James 295 of 3550 and Hanover with 466 of 2,554members.The JAS also suffered losses in its affili-ated branch network that now stands at 245compared to 981 in 2000. Clarendon (10),St. James (11), St Mary (12) and St.Thomas (13) recorded major decline dur-ing the period.However, Christopher Emanuel, JASCEO explains the “declining membership”is a result of management policy to listonly “dues paying members” as part of theofficial membership.Mr Emanuel further notes that despite thepolicy, several thousands non-member/farmers continue to benefit andparticipate in various JAS-sponsored ac-tivities. “A large percent of these peopleare unable to pay the minimal dues of $200per year and we will continue to servicethem,” he adds.
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VOL. 24 NO. 3 • AUGUST 2013 FREECOPY WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM
JAS Members Declined by 92%
(l-r) Champion farmer, Leslie Murray; Farm Queen 2012 Amelia Leveridge and Young Champion, Nicholas Powell posewith their trophies at Denbigh Show 2012.
he organisers of the Denbigh Agricul-tural and Industrial Show are lookingforward to another successful event, sched-ule for August 4-6, 2013 at the DenbighShowgrounds, Clarendon.Chairman of the show’s organisingcommittee and president, Jamaica Agri-cultural Society (JAS) Grant Grant saidthe JAS is seeking to diversify the Denbighshow, which started some 61 years ago.This 61st staging will live up expecta-tions, as the tourism, youth, health and or-ganic villages will be in operation.The JAS will be seeking to attract atleast 70,000 patrons to the annual agricul-tural showcase.
Denbigh feature pages 9-14
Kitson Town P.A.St. Catherine, Jamaica(876) 610-7283
Christopher Emanuel, JAS CEO