BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, June 22, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — The Agri Night Market, St. Kitts Music Festival Edition, held at the Basseterre Public Market on Wednesday evening June 21, was attended by scores of residents and returning nationals who are home for the Music Festival, and has been hailed as a success.
“We are at another edition of our Agri Night Market, and tonight’s edition is a special edition because tonight we wanted to incorporate all the different elements in one, where Small Business, St. Kitts Music Festival, and Agriculture all came together,” said a visibly excited Hon. Samal Duggins who took time to visit as many vendors’ stalls as the limited time he had could allow him.
Duggins, who is the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and the Creative Economy, further noted that the Music Festival Edition of the now popular Agri Night Market saw craft and creative art coming together in form of the Karaoke and the other elements that were added.
“And realistically, when you look at this, it creates an ecosystem that generates commerce, where you have creativity on display, people coming out and you have the vendors ready to serve them,” observed the Duggins who was accompanied by Press Secretary in the Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and the Creative Economy, Ms Azariah Vanterpool.
Also present from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, were the Permanent Secretary, Mr Miguel Flemming; Director of Agriculture Ms Jeanelle Kelly; Deputy Director Agriculture Mr Alphonso Clarke; and Crops Programme Leader in the Department of Agriculture, Mr Ian Chapman.
From the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship were the Permanent Secretary Ms Delrine Taylor; Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses Development Centre, Mr Phillip Browne; Senior Business Advisors at the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), Mr Delwayne Delaney, and Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore.
“This is what we want,” emphasised the Hon Samal Duggins. “If you are talking about transforming agriculture it means that we have to provide avenues for vendors to earn a livelihood, and part of that is bringing people out of their homes into a centralised place where the vendors are, so that they can always have that exchange.”
Long before the Agri Night Market opened, scores of patrons had thronged the Basseterre Fisheries Complex stall as they scrambled to buy fresh fish on offer.
All the fish was sold out before 8:00 p.m. The reason? Mr. Lorrinston Jenkins, Acting Manager of the Basseterre Fisheries Complex explained:
“As we normally do at every Agri Night Market before we even come down, people are here waiting for us. You see, fish is a scarce commodity in St. Kitts, and a lot of people like fish, but there is not enough fish. So people come to take the opportunity at the night market to buy their fish because they are getting their fish fresh, and clean, which is stored on ice.”
A returning National from Rochester, New York, Ms Alisa Washington, who is home for the St. Kitts Music Festival, patronised a number of stands both on the Small Businesses and Agriculture sectors, including Big Banana Barbecue, where she was served barbecue pork by well-known livestock farmer Mr Michael Bridgewater.
“I have been coming home for the Music Festival for the last ten years,” said Ms Washington. She added, as she received a well barbecued piece of pork: “I just wanted to taste the flavour on the grill.”
Vendors at the Public Market expressed their gratitude when they learnt that the Agri Night Market will now be held monthly as opposed to quarterly as it used to be held, saying that it offers them a great opportunity not only to interact with their regular customers but new ones as well. A number of small scale business vendors from Nevis were also present.
Among persons visiting the Agri Night Market included Governor General’s Deputy, His Excellency Walford Gumbs, and former Speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Curtis Martin.
Entertainment was provided by DJ Tero on a night when ten budding singers, including the Director General of the St. Kitts Nevis Information Service, Mr Lesroy Williams, and one of the regular Small Business vendors from Nevis, Mrs Shobaina Prince, were given the opportunity to showcase on stage, their singing skills.
Declared winner was ten-year old Master Jahmari Anthon, a student of the Tucker Clarke Primary School, who was joined on stage by his younger sister Kiki. The runner-up was Mr George Elliot. They were presented with tickets to attend the Music Festival, with Master Anthon receiving his from the Hon Samal Duggins.
A regular vendor, Ms Annette Stapleton, was the lucky winner of a ticket to attend the St. Kitts Music Festival, which was handed to her by Mr Delwayne Delaney, Senior Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
Source: Press Release.