The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries & the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, RADA, is to stage another round of farmers' market on Friday, April 1, 2011 from 6a.m. – 6p.m. with a return of the market at the Ministry of Agriculture’s football field. The St. Andrew market was held at a new venue last week but is being relocated to its original location due to inadequate parking.
The markets scheduled to be held in six locations across the country next week are as follows:-
1. St. Andrew – Ministry of Agriculture lawn/football field, Old HopeRoad
2. St. Catherine – Praise Plaza, Port Henderson Road, between Rapid Sheffield and Petcom service station
3. Portland – Folly Ground, Port Antonio
4. St. Mary – Banana Boxing Plant, Trinity
5. Manchester – RADA Parish office compound, Mandeville
6. St. James – RADA parish compound, Catherine Hall
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry wishes to inform the public that it will be adopting a zero-tolerance approach to those participating in the markets, as previously some farmers would turn up at the locations and would be allowed to ply their ware. This will no longer be allowed. Farmers must meet the minimal criteria as set out by RADA/MOA including:-
i) All farmers must be registered with RADA
ii) Farmers must be verified by RADA parish management and marketing officers to participate in the markets and given clearance by the marketing team at Head office.
iii) Farmers must be able to comply with Rules and Regulation of the market, as follows:
· Identification of farmer at the entrance to the market site: only those registered will be allowed to enter the markets on presentation of identification cards
· Observe the quantity of produce determined and agreed on supplying; excess will not be allowed to enter
· Observe the set quality standard of the market
· Willingness to comply with price recommendations
· Comply with ground rule re- removal of waste
· Do not carry on the compound items not discussed and agreed on.
· No imported produce will be allowed for sale.
The farmers markets began late January and were developed as a means of supporting local farmers to take off the excess supply in several primary crops. More than $17 million dollars was earned at the most recent market held (Friday, March 18) in six locations across the country.
Issued By: The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries