An initiative in Jamaica to promote agro tourism was expanded through the Agro-Tourism Farmers’ Market Initiative, which is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) at a cost of $10 million.
A series of seven farmers’ markets are to be held in the resort areas of Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios over the next seven months, as the Government looks to bolster linkages between tourism and agriculture and promote local produce.
The project got underway on Wednesday, October 30, at the Norman Manley Beach Park in Negril, with some 35 farmers and farmers groups from the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover participating.
Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Roger Clarke, were on hand for the launch, which saw hundreds of locals and visitors haggling over prices for top quality fresh food, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Also on sale were craft items, jewelry, clothes from local designers, and patrons also enjoyed music and cooking demonstrations and partook of local cuisine.
McNeill said that the staging of the farmers’ markets underscores the government’s commitment to bringing all sectors together “to ensure responsible tourism that brings benefits to wide segments of the society.”
He said that not only do these linkages provide a great opportunity to increase tourism’s contribution to the country’s economic development, but also support the Ministry’s mandate of “tourism for all.”