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  • Several of the nation’s markets are to be renovated and rehabilitated during this fiscal year.
  • Minister Arscott said work has been completed on some of the facilities, while work is in progress on others.
  • Work has been completed on the Rocky Point Market in Clarendon and phase one renovation of the Linstead Market has been finished.

Several of the nation’s markets are to be renovated and rehabilitated during this fiscal year, says Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott.

Making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on June 17, Mr. Arscott said work has been completed on some of the facilities, while work is in progress on others.

The markets slated for renovation include: Spanish Town Market, where electrical upgrade and security cameras will be installed; the Ocho Rios Market; the purchasing and retrofitting of containers at the May Pen Market; and the completion of the Black River market by August.

He further noted that work has been completed on the Rocky Point Market in Clarendon and phase one renovation of the Linstead Market has been finished.

The Rocky Point Market was built at a cost of over $55 million and was financed in collaboration with the Ministry, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and the Clarendon Parish Council. Labour for the project was provided by the Rocky Point Development Council.

Mr. Arscott said approximately $100 million was spent on rehabilitation and maintenance of markets in the last financial year.

This was done through support from the Ministry, Local Authorities, the Tourism Enhancement Fund and JSIF.

The Minister emphasised that markets are critical to the development of micro enterprises in Jamaica and they enable small farmers, micro level businesses and vendors to market their produce and wares.

“It is the intention, therefore, to position the markets to be profit centres for the Parish Councils,” he said.

Noting that the majority of users of these markets are women, he said “we can no longer give a blind eye or only pay lip service to the substandard conditions to which they are exposed. The improvement of these facilities is our contribution to the growth and development of our economy.”