The Palau Agri-Fair 2023 grew this year with more participants than last year.  Last Friday, the Bureau of Agriculture Station event in Ngchesar State had booths from nearly all 16 states and non-government crops and livestock associations displaying produce, crops, livestock, and even fresh tuna from the Belau Offshore Fisheries Inc.

The number of people that came to the fair was at least four times more than those that attended the 2022 Agri-Fair.  Many came looking for local food products, plants and seedlings and there were many good offerings in various booths.

Minister Steven Victor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE) attributes the event’s success to their active engagement with producers since 2021.

“We had a very strong participation of small-scale producers at this year’s Agri-Fair due to our continued engagement with farmers in building awareness and our continued effort to collect data to understand the profile of our producers,” stated Minister Victor of the high level of participation at this year’s fair.

Minister Victor said they have focused on supporting the producers with the first “keledAngercheled” banquet to highlight them in 2021.  “KeledAngercheled”  (food is our responsibility) campaign was officially launched in 2022, a theme of the Palau Green Growth Plan, a food security plan.

The Agri-Fair 2023 align with the commitment of Palau’s Green Growth Plan to “Tripling Agriculture production by 2030.”  Specific objectives include increasing national food security by replacing imports, increasing economic security by commercializing production and added value industries and diversifying support for subsistence farming, increasing social resilience by planning a consistent supply of healthy, nourishing and affordable foods and decreasing ecosystem vulnerabilities through nature-based and innovative solutions.”

For the participants, it was more than just food production but a fun-filled event with traditional games, product competitions, music and dance, and lots of prizes.  The grand prize was one of the attractive features of the fair, with many attending in hopes of winning a free merry-tiller machine.

The lucky winner, Rosie from Ngerbeched, Koror, walked away with the sought-after prize. But there were still great prizes to be won at the fair, including cash prizes, free fuel vouchers, seedlings, a green machine which was a baby-grand prize, and piglets.

Coconut husking, spearing, and piglet-catching were some of the fun games that had good prizes but were also entertaining for those in attendance.

“I think we will be ready by the next fair to bring in our farm produce,” expressed Franky, one of the attendees inspired by the event to participate in next year’s fair. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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