Sat | Nov 27, 2021

'Farmers' market gives us a boost'

Published:Monday | April 5, 2021 | 12:05 AM
Levi Walters, a farmer from Penlyne Castle, sells spices and vegetables during the Association of Branch Societies/Jamaica Agriculture Society Farmers' Market on the grounds of the Ministry of Agriculture on April 1.
Levi Walters, a farmer from Penlyne Castle, sells spices and vegetables during the Association of Branch Societies/Jamaica Agriculture Society Farmers' Market on the grounds of the Ministry of Agriculture on April 1.
Shoppers purchase fresh produce at reasonable prices at the Farmers' Market on Thursday.
Shoppers purchase fresh produce at reasonable prices at the Farmers' Market on Thursday.
Earl Young and Shernetta Blake, both satisfied with produced they purchased at the Association of Branch Societies/Jamaica Agricultural Society Farmers' Market which was held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Hope Garden offices in Kingston on T
Earl Young and Shernetta Blake, both satisfied with produced they purchased at the Association of Branch Societies/Jamaica Agricultural Society Farmers' Market which was held at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Hope Garden offices in Kingston on Thursday.
Lansford Moore (left), a farmer from Rock Hall, St Andrew sells some of the more than 200 pounds of cabbage he reaped at the farmers' market on Thursday.
Lansford Moore (left), a farmer from Rock Hall, St Andrew sells some of the more than 200 pounds of cabbage he reaped at the farmers' market on Thursday.
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Judana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Sales were booming at a farmers’ market organised by the Kingston and St Andrew Association of Branch Societies and the Jamaica Agricultural Society on Thursday.

Eunice Dixon, a 63-year-old farmer from Mavis Bank, St Andrew had irish potato, tomato, scallion and cucumber, among other items for sale.

“We started at about 8 o’ clock, it’s now minutes after 11 and things are almost finished. It has been really good,” said an animated Dixon.

Lansford Moore received 700 cabbage seedlings in January from well-known charity, United Way of Jamaica, and reaped more than 200 pounds of produce for the event.

“I’m grateful for this assistance. It has given me a great boost,” Moore said.

The Rock Hall, St Andrew farmer also cultivates callaloo, pak choi and sweet pepper.

The 74-year-old was among a number of farmers who expressed gratitude for the opportunity to provide Jamaicans with fresh produce ahead of the Easter weekend lockdown.

Levi Walters usually travels from Penlyne Castle in St Thomas to Coronation Market to sell his produce. A coffee farmer, he intercrops broccoli, scallion, thyme and vegetables in the field. Walters looks forward to every opportunity to sell at the farmers’ market, as it is easily accessible to consumers, high-quality produce is sold at reasonable prices and it better facilitates social distancing.

“Farmers’ market is very important and its gives the farmers a boost. We can come and let off our produce with less hassle,” Walters added.

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson told The Gleaner that he has been consistently supporting the farmers’ market since last year.

“I want to ensure that our hard working farmers get money directly in their pockets, not through third parties, for the work that they have done throughout the pandemic,” he said.

Robinson added that it was a win-win situation for farmers and consumers, as the prices are better, when compared to the supermarket.

Another customer, Maureen, travelled from Red Hills Road to support the market.

“It was a pleasant experience buying local food from the farmers. The things were fresh and nice for a good price,” she remarked.

It was Earl Young’s first time at a farmers’ market. The Gordon Town resident observed the white tents and trucks stocked with produce on his way to work in Liguanea and decided to stop by.

“This farmers’ market has prepared me well for the weekend lockdown. I have to buy up a lot of stuff to keep me and the family at home,” Young said.

Shernetta Blake told The Gleaner that the fruit and vegetable packages being sold for $1500 was worth the cost.

“A church sister of mine sent me the flyer. It was a good shopping experience. The environment is clean and friendly and the goods are fresh,” she said.