34th Agri Fair exceeds expectations


The abundant display of crops, livestock, and ornamental plants at the 34th Agricultural Fair clearly spoke of how fertile the land is in the Commonwealth.

And the increased number of people who visited the fair over the weekend at the Garapan Fishing Base clearly showed the increased interest of people, according to Saipan and Northern Islands Fair Association president Michael Ogo, who said that Saturday’s event turned out to be a greater success than the last year’s fair.

The fair was so packed that a couple of livestock had to be turned away as there was no longer cage space for the livestock display.

Ogo feels this is a step in the right direction and just shows that people are making use of the island’s abundant resources. In line with this, plans are in the works to expand the fair next year

The agricultural fair was originally set for late May or early June, but because of unspecified circumstances, the association decided to hold off hosting the fair.

Ogo himself was pleasantly surprised by the event’s turnout. “Because we are already in the middle of the rainy season, we were thinking the turnout wouldn’t be as good.”

He was thinking that due to the weather, farmers would have a harder time producing high quality produce, but to Ogo’s surprise, the produce at the fair was both abundant in quantity and exceeded his expectations in quality.

According to Ogo, this year’s fair brought him to the realization that more individuals are getting into the food production business through growing produce and livestock. “I think there is just a general feeling of optimism in the community and that people are getting into food production, whether its fruits and vegetables or livestock to supply the demand of the booming economy,” said Ogo.

The fair brought together ranchers, farmers, children, young people, and even tourists.

Among the audience was Bryan de Guzman. The 17-year-old has never attended an agricultural fair all his life, yet now he feels more connected to the island, knowing that a lot of the produce is grown locally.

He was shocked to know that many imported vegetables can actually be grown on the island. “Why import when we can grow it here, right?” he asked.

Ogo was also pleased with the unity that was displayed. Without the unity of the sponsors, the farmers, the ranchers, and the community the 34th Annual Agricultural Fair wouldn’t have been as successful as it was, Ogo said.

Kimberly A. Bautista

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