By Theresa Goodwin
Farmers from the south-west district and surrounding areas took full advantage of the opportunity to offer their produce and seedlings at a specially discounted rate to locals at a new farmers’ market yesterday.
The event was designed to give crop farmers on that side of the island an avenue to sell their produce without the hassle of travelling to the capital of St John’s to compete with other famers who are offering similar items.
Among those trading at the market, which was held on the field adjacent to Jennings Primary School, was well-known villager Ioni Isaac, who is famed for her traditional ice cream made with the use of an antique machine.
Another vendor was preparing Antigua’s much-loved bambula on a coal pot, and there was also a number of crop farmers and poultry farmers.
The event started at 6am and was said to be well supported by scores of locals who queued up to take advantage of early-bird deals.
Isaac, who has been selling her traditionally made ice cream for over 20 years, also had a wide array of vegetables displayed – most of which were sold out before 10am.
She told Observer she was delighted by the opportunity which came at no cost to local farmers and agro-processors in that area.
Another farmer, who did not wish to be named, stated that, “This was a very good opportunity for us because since the Covid virus started we have not gotten the opportunity to really make that much.
“I am loving it, it’s really lovely. I am enjoying it; it’s really something they should look at doing once per month,” explained a poultry farmer who was selling her eggs at a very affordable rate.
Earlier this week, south-west district officer, Oniecia Anthony, explained that the 200-plus farmers in the district were producing at levels that would rival other farmers on the island, however, they were not getting the same opportunities to market their produce.
The south-west district ranges from Christian Valley in Jennings to Old Road, and boasts over 200 farmers who are best known for producing the famed Antigua black pineapple, plus a wide variety of mangoes and ginger.