Friday, 12 August 2016, marked a significant milestone for the Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Programme (MAREP) as the first ever Women in Production Exposition was held in collaboration with Grenada National Organization of Women (GNOW) at the Morne Rouge Playing Field, Grand Anse, St George.
40 women who are engaged in production throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique exhibited a variety of products, such as Clothing Design, Jewellery, Agro Processing, Arts & Crafts, Spices, Cosmetic Products, Confectionery, Ornamental Plants, Sustainable Fashion and Wines.
The main objective of the Exposition was to provide market access and income generation opportunities; thus Corporate Organizations and Purchasers from different hotels and major retail outlets were invited to provide Market Access Opportunities to the exhibitors.
Special award was given to Ms Celia Houston for her outstanding contribution to the Agricultural sector with her local production of Moringa products. Other categories awarded: “Youngest Women in Production, Oldest Women in Production, Best Decorated/Most Attractive Booth, Best Packaged Items in Booth, Largest Booth, Smallest Booth, Greenest Exhibit and Best Labelled Product”.
During the Official Opening Ceremony, feature remarks were given by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Chair, MAREP Programme Steering Committee (PSC) Ms Kim Frederick encouraging exhibitors of the importance of Good Record Keeping Practices, Advertising, and Business Management. Project Coordinator GNOW, Mrs Lorice-Pascal thanked MAREP for taking the initiative on board. Closing remark by Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mrs Merina Jessamy pushed the women to continue production.
Other persons in attendance were PSC representatives, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Clarice Modeste–Curwen, Minister Responsible for Culture, Senator Brenda Hood, Honorable Alvin DaBreo and various media houses. The curtain was drawn with dance performance by Ashanti Footprints, fashion show by Calliste Couture, and music performance by Touch of Grace.
MAREP is therefore proud to reaffirm its mandate of improving access to markets and financial services, sustainable agriculture, and linkages to production chains, for our women in production. This in turn will translate to development, employment and sustainable livelihoods.