SDC hosts community market with a difference

SDC hosts community market with a difference

Staff reporter

Sunday, August 16, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Over 45 farmers and community groups are benefiting from the Social Development Commission’s (SDC) community market and business fair, an initiative which was recently hosted at Brook’s Park in this south-central town.

Manchester Parish Manager Beverly Boothe told the Jamaica Observer that the SDC changed the usual business fairs into a community market, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions.

In keeping with pandemic protocols patrons were temperature checked and their hands sanitised upon entering the park.

“The whole idea was conceptualised because of the COVID-19 situation. And normally we would have had business fairs across the nine development areas, so we had to change that concept and twin it with the community market. We have all nine development areas here representing from across the parish,” Boothe said.

The community market is an islandwide initiative which gives farmers a platform to sell their produce and market their brands.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SDC hosted several community business fairs across the parish. The recent staging of the community market and business fair facilitated a merger of those events.

Agricultural produce and products including yam, bananas, carrots, watermelons, tomatoes, among others were on sale.

Manufactured products and plants were also available.

Founder and operator of Uncle Dan’s Natural Seasoning, Daniel Johnson was elated to have his products on display.

“We make all these long-life products; we use the same products that is on the market. The community likes it better this way, packaged. People who are going abroad can buy it and take it with them,” said Johnson.

The products include green banana flour, green plantain flour; rosemary powder; carrot powder; and jackfruit seed powder.

Osmond Bartley of the Hibernia Progressive Community Development Committee (CDC) echoed similar sentiments.

“This market is very important and I would encourage all the parishes to do something like this. Consumers can come and get their products fresh from the farms at a very low cost, especially during this pandemic. The environment is good because everybody is practising good social distancing. I am really proud,” Bartley said.

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