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St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fresh Produce Markets Open Nationwide

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Fresh Produce Markets Open Nationwide

Article Courtesy News784

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the closure of borders and institutions around the world. However, it seems to be creating the opposite effect on the Agriculture and Fisheries Sectors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Over the last two (2) weeks, the island witnessed the opening of four (4) state-owned facilities for the purchasing of food from farmers. These buying depots are at Langley Park, Lauders, La Croix, and Rose Bank. Before the end of May, another facility will be opened to serve the farmers in the Vermont Agriculture District and the immediate environs.

Contents of a "Love Box" in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Contents of a "Love Box" in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Minister of Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Saboto Caesar, in a recent face to face programme on NBC radio, outlined the following as activities expected to take place at the buying depots:

  1. Farmers will provide produce for sale to the State to be packaged and distributed on the National Fresh Produce Programme dubbed the “Love Box” initiative;
  2. Individual farmers and producer groups will be able to come to the buying centres to both retail and wholesale produce daily;
  3. Agro-processors will have the opportunity to exhibit their products as part of the current National Buy Local Campaign;
  4. There will be the presence of a Farmer’s Support Company desk to provide guidance to applicants seeking assistance from the “Stimulus Package” - in the areas of livestock, fisheries, tractor services, inputs, and credit; and
  5. A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture will be on hand to address the important linkage between production, marketing, and extension services.

Minister Caesar stated,

“The vision is that  with the increase in production and productivity expected as a significant return from the “Stimulus Package”  these markets will be able to assist in improving affordability and accessibility to local agriculture commodities; and to act as packaging facilities also for export. These centres will play a central role in the Production Revolution in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the decade 2020-2030 and beyond.”

The Agriculture Minister further noted that the term “Love Box” is now a national brand, with exporters already considering the potential of marketing food outside of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in similar boxes, neatly packed.

Farmers prepare to pack "Love Boxes" in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Farmers prepare to pack "Love Boxes" in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Minister Caesar also thanked Miss Derona Burke, who is charged with the responsibility to make operational these centres, the entire support staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Medicinal Cannabis Authority.

"The farming community has expressed satisfaction with the process thus far and the Ministry of Agriculture commends the efforts of all stakeholders supporting the trade of locally produced agriculture goods."

 

OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

 

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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