The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is delighted to report that its recent farmers’ market held (Friday, March 4, 2011) in six selected parishes was an absolute success. The markets which were staged in Kingston, St. James, St. Mary, St. Catherine, Manchester and Portland earned farmers $12.5 million dollars for the day, one million dollars more than the previous markets held February 11, 2011. This uptick is attributed to significant public support which resulted in just under 20-thousand consumers patronizing the event to get fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices.
Data from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, RADA, indicate that the total volume of produce was 284,000 lbs (up from the 218,000 lbs at the previous markets). Portmore, Kingston and Mandeville had a larger share of the volume of goods/produce with 125,000, 50,000 and 35,000 lbs respectively. The total value of fresh produce sold amounted to $11.05 million dollars, while packaged items (dry coconut, pan cake mix, peel bananas, juices, etc) totaled $1.5 million. The Agriculture Ministry says all of the 284,000 lbs of produce was sold with no farmer having to take back home any produce as a result of wholesale purchases.
Some 218 farmers participated in the markets (up from 184), the majority of them in Portmore 72, Kingston 36 and Mandeville 30. Once again, the bulk of the spend was concentrated in Portmore accounting for $5.2 million, Kingston $2.1 million and Mandeville $1.5 million dollars respectively.
The Ministry of Agriculture says it’s particularly pleased with the support of the Jamaican people, as they through their patronage have contributed to the success of the farmers’ market. It says the initiative which is a creative means of taking off the excess in several crops, is a win-win situation for the farmer and customer.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry is to host two more farmers’ markets on March 18 and April 1 as it seeks to reduce the glut that currently exist in a number of crops. These include -cabbage, lettuce, carrot and tomato.
Issued by: The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries