Local farmers and fisherfolk are earning more at their new temporary venue at Sir Olva Georges Plaza on Waterfront Drive in Road Town.
That is according to a member of the Farmers and Fishermen Network, Aragon Dick-Read.
In an interview with BVI News on Tuesday, he said the outlet creates a platform where farmers and fisherfolk can profit more from direct sales.
Agriculture workers had set up a farmers market at the location on March 17 and the recorded success of that first staging has led to the second, which is scheduled for April 14.
There were a total of 17 participants at the first event and Dick-Read hopes the numbers will increase come Saturday.
“We do realize that there is a real need within the farming and fishing sector to provide an outlet direct to the customer, which is why we got the idea to put on the market,” he said.
“It is a very valuable thing because what is going on now is a lot of farmers are forced by the market environment to sell to supermarkets. And while supermarkets support local produce, they buy their produce from foreign markets at subsided prices.”
“So it’s going to be cheaper than it can be produced locally and the supermarkets can’t justify paying much for local produce, because they don’t make much profit on buying local.”
“That’s why they want to buy local produce at a much cheaper price than the farmer really want to sell it for. So, if the farmer can access his own market, then he can make that profit for himself.”
Meanwhile, Dick-Read said they are now hoping to host the market on a monthly basis.
“It was very successful to the point where every other person that attended said we should do this every day or every week. So we are hoping to fill in the demand and putting it on every month for now.”
Besides being a profitable venture, Dick-Read said the market also creates a greater the level of food security and better use of landscape for the territory.
“So, it is a win-win for everyone,” he reasoned.
In the meantime, City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards gave the initiative a thumbs up.
“I think the utilization of the Sir Olva Georges Plaza is perfect for us to create some commerce in that area,” she told our BVI News.
She said the location captures many sea travellers from the sister islands from the Road Town ferry dock and internationally through the Tortola Pier Park and it draws the attention to the lower Main Street location.
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