Farmers’ market among initiatives to ease cost of living
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government continues to implement measures to ease the cost of living for all Guyanese, as promised in the 2022 National Budget.
The administration has recognised the spike in food costs, and while market prices have escalated, prices reflected at the farm gate remain low.
This, of course, reflects a number of factors, including transportation costs and multiple layers of handling and reselling from farm to the final retail phase.
To reduce inefficiencies in this process, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P., said government will arrange farmers’ markets at several locations countrywide.
A mere two weeks after the passage of the national fiscal package in the National Assembly on February 10, government hosted a massive farmers’ market at the Lusignan Market Tarmac, East Coast Demerara.
The mega initiative attracted hundreds and benefitted both farmers and consumers in and out of the Demerara-Mahaica district.
The exercise allowed farmers to find ready markets for their produce and gave consumers the advantage of buying directly from the farmers.
Persons were also given the opportunity to purchase meat products directly from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), while stations were established by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA).
Farmer, Kamal Persaud who hails from the Mahaica River, Region Five was among those thrilled to participate in the exercise.
“We normally have people coming and buy these produce from us in the river. They go and sell and when they finish selling, they come back and pay us what they feel like paying us. Now this venture here is such a great one, we brought our produce and it’s already sold out,” Persaud told DPI.
Kelvin Forde, who owns Kelvin’s Taste Company also commended the government for hosting the event. Forde sold his produce at wholesale prices; and was still able to handout a larger quantity.
“My customers were able to save in a $200 because when you go to the supermarkets you will pay little more,” he said.
This is exactly the government’s intention, for Guyanese to spend less and accumulate more food items for their families.
Additionally, the agriculture ministry will be partnering with the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Six, to host a farmers’ market there.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha assured that, “We will facilitate you; we will set out a place for you around the New Amsterdam area. We will advertise it well on a weekly basis. We could have a farmers’ market.” The exercise aims to attract agriculturists, specifically cash crop farmers and agro-processors from across the district.