New study to address high cost of local food

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Residents may soon be paying less for local produce, following cries for several years about how expensive it is to buy local.
Dean Jonas, the country’s Agriculture Minister told OBSERVER media that the government has heard the “people’s” complaints about not being able to afford healthy foods.
“We are now completing a comprehensive national marketing study to address the issue of local food availability,” he said.
The government has been increasing its campaign to educate people on the benefits of healthy living, including choosing healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables instead of imported processed foods.
But many residents say the processed foods are more affordable.
“I went to the market for oranges and they were three for five dollars. I can hardly make one cup of juice from that. If I buy a Kool-Aid it is 95 cents and I can give my entire family a drink,” one woman told OBSERVER media.
She explained that even buying ground provisions and vegetables “are way too expensive”.
“You just cannot afford to live a healthy life. Lettuce, cabbage, green bananas and especially sweet potatoes, we just cannot afford it,” she added.
 Meantime, Jonas said the research is being completed on pricing in Antigua and Barbuda compared with other islands within the region.
Jonas said the marketing study is expected to be completed by early December.

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