ASI and EJC Stage First Farmers Market Initiative in Kingston
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director, Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Thursday, May 14, 2020
Adventist-Laypersons Services & Industries (ASI) and East Jamaica Conference staged their first ever Farmers Market on the grounds of the Kingsway High School, 10 – 12 Osborne Road in Kingston in a bid to assist farmers in Jamaica who are having difficulty finding markets for their products while at the same time providing a clean, safe environment for people to easily purchase market products.
Cecil Foster, president for ASI, Jamaica Union, said the organization was led by the Holy Spirit to reach out to farmers in Jamaica, especially Adventist Farmers who are having difficulty disposing their products due to the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted supply chains and established markets for many of them.
“Many farmers are unable to off-load their produce to supermarkets or to hotels and restaurants and so some of their goods are in the field rotting while we who are in Kingston find it difficult a lot of times to have the produce that we want,” Foster said on the first day of the three day Farmers Market which is set to operate while stocks last.
The ASI president for Jamaica disclosed that a partnership was forged with farmers from the southern side of the island and that the items are being sold at farm gate prices.
“I am praying that as people make their purchases today that they will see that the hands of God is not only available in the church but that it is also at work in the field as men and women do our best to help each other to grow their personal economy and to stay alive,” Foster said.
Meanwhile, Alfred Thomas, president for ASI East Jamaica chapter, said the organization was supporting a very good initiative which was supporting the farmers who have lost revenue because the hotel industry which would normally purchase their produce are now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We came up with this initiative to support the farmers and so this farmers market has a wide range of products from St. Elizabeth,” Thomas said. “Packages have been prepared by the East Jamaica Conference Community Services Department so when the customers come, they can simply go pay for their packages and in a very short while take their packages away,” he added.
Yvonne Lawson, the public relations officer, ASI Jamaica Union and vice president of ASI, East Jamaica Chapter said the Farmers Market would run in the first instance for three days, Wednesday May 13 to Friday May 15, 2020 starting at 9:00 am and will operate until 4:00 pm Wednesday and Thursday. The market however will end at 12 noon on Friday while stocks last.
Lawson disclosed that the market is providing value for money by offering three different packages for customers to choose from and that the process to purchase and collect the items was quite easy.
“We have the ‘Spice it Up’ package which includes five pounds of your seasoning like escallions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet peppers and that packet costs one thousand five hundred dollars. Then we have the ‘fruit loop’ package which includes a water melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapes, cucumbers and tomatoes. That package weighs ten pounds and goes only for three thousand dollars. And the third package, the ‘full kitchen’ includes ground provisions like yams, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, pumpkin, sweet peppers, tomatoes, green bananas, scotch bonnet peppers, plummy tomatoes and callaloo, all in a bag of fifteen pounds for three thousand five hundred dollars.
Anyone wishing to purchase produce may send their orders via email to email@example.com or via whatsap at 876-8621333. Orders may also be placed online by filling out this GOOGLE FORM. Click here to place order.
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