The Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and RADA’s latest round of Farmers’ Markets has generated $27 million in revenue for farmers across the island. This is $10 million more when compared to the previous round of markets and the highest figure recorded on a single day since the beginning of the markets on January 29. Markets were staged on April 1, in Portmore; Kingston; Port Maria; Montego Bay; Portland; Mandeville; and in Negril on March 30, as the Ministry uses this avenue to remove the excess in supply of several crops.
Data provided by RADA shows that a total of 438,000lbs of produce were sold compared to the 318,150 purchased at the last farmers market on March 18. The total value of fresh produce sold amounted to $25 million, while packaged products recorded a marginal decline of $1.8 million when compared to the previous figure of $1.9 million.
Some 31,420 consumers turned out to purchase food items with the highest concentration of purchasers of fresh fruits, vegetables and other ground provisions being Kingston, having 7,500 patrons, while the outlet that created the highest value, netting some $5 million was the inaugural market held in Negril.
Chief Executive Officer of RADA Al Powell explained that Negril grossed such a high figure due to the overwhelming support of hoteliers and the newness of the concept among shoppers in that parish.
Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry and RADA is to host another round of markets on Wednesday, April 20 prior to the Easter holidays at venues across the island. Mr. Powell also noted that the markets will now be held on Wednesdays instead of the usual Fridays to accommodate all stakeholders. “It is also in a bid to ensure that the traditional vendors are not faced with the issue of reduced revenues resulting from the staging of the markets.”