By Theresa Goodwin
For the second time in recent weeks, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and the St John’s Development Corporation (SJDC) will be working together to demarcate special areas for farmers and other hucksters who will be selling their produce at the local market today.
Last week, special accommodations were implemented on the compound of the old Peasant Development Office (PDO) building on Valley Road for farmers and others who were selling directly from vehicles.
However, today, the SJDC and Extension Division officers will collaborate with the police to block off the lower sections of All Saints Road to vehicular traffic between Burger King and the Industrial Workshop for the Blind, thereby giving farmers more room to follow social distancing protocols.
Senior Extension Officer Owalabi Elabanjo said this new measure will replace others which appear to have failed in the past.
Photos have surfaced on social media which show vendors and members of the public clearly disregarding social distancing measures.
“Farmers with trucks will be allowed to park on both sides of that road. So, the centre of the road will be left for customers and other members of the general public to move freely. Each truck will have to park six feet from each other,” Elabanjo said.
Vendors using tables, he said, will be stationed in and around the Public Market Complex and they too will be required to observe the established protocols.
Some table farmers will also be allowed to set up within the area which houses the Sir VC Bird statute.
Elabanjo said the agencies are seeking to ensure that the health of farmers and customers is not put at risk during this difficult period.