CASTRIES, St. Lucia–December 2nd, 2020–The Taiwan Technical Mission in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives introduced its Farmers Market Expo, a three-day event held at the Castries City Hall from Nov. 25 to 27.
All COVID-19 health and safety measures that are currently in effect were strictly adhered to, allowing only 25 persons inside the building at a time.
Additionally, patrons and farmers were required to wear face masks and sanitize upon entry, maintain adequate social distancing within the premises and utilize alcohol-based hand sanitizers while purchasing their products.
The Farmers Market Expo opened at 9 a.m. daily, and featured free samples and exciting giveaways. Participating vendors included Health Nutz, Island Pop, Rego Dolls Spice, Lucian Child, Golden Crown Fast Food Inc and the Propagation Tissue Culture Unit.
Items available for purchase included but was not limited to skin care products, dry seasoning, vegan and gluten free snacks, fresh produce such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins, all locally made and grown in Saint Lucia.
The exposition was well received by Sen. Hon. Hermangild Francis, Minister of Home Affairs, Justice and National Security and other government officials.
The Farmers Market Expo was also cordially welcomed by the presence of the Taiwanese Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Peter Chen and his appointed staff at the Embassy, Mr. Johnathan Yang and Mr. Bill Huang. The Ambassador engaged in brief discourse with the farmers and patronized the booths.
The three-day Exposition culminated the farmers market’s streak of events slated for the year 2020. In 2021, the Taiwan Technical Mission and the Ministry of Agriculture anticipate continued strategies and efforts that will provide outlets to assist local farmers to sell and showcase their produce. These efforts are appreciated now more than ever by local farmers and small business owners.
Due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Lucia’s economy has been severely affected, leaving farmers with very little opportunities to flourish.
The increase of farmer’s markets will create the ideal outlet for smaller producers to sell specialty items as well as other crops. This outlet will increase their disposable income while minimizing the number of imported goods sold at supermarkets.
By the same premise, Saint Lucian consumers appreciate and look forward to these avenues that are created for them to purchase fresh and natural produce, while also helping them to promote a healthier lifestyle at an affordable price.
The Government of Saint Lucia also continues to provide support through its contribution toward the initiative.