by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Farmers wishing to sell their produce at the established markets should contact Ministry of Agriculture, on 417-2355
- Fishermen are not allowed to sell their catch directly to the public
- Licenced vendors will package produce in 2-pound, 5-pound and 10-pound bags for public sale
Fishermen with smaller vessels are allowed to operate on assigned shopping days during the curfew, but no provision has yet been made for larger fishing trawlers. Supt. Vannie Curwen, Officer in Charge of Community Relations, Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), stated that considerations will be made and announced shortly to alert fishermen with larger vessels on when they are allowed to operate.
Authorised farmers, fishermen and roadside vendors have been given the green light to resume their trade on the allotted shopping days of Thursday, Friday and Saturday while adhering to the strict physical distancing protocols.
“Only small boats are allowed to engage in fishing with 2 people per boat. With regards to seine or net fishing, 12 people are permitted to manage the net with 3 being positioned on either side. Provisions are not currently made for larger type fishing trawlers but this will be taken into consideration and a subsequent announcement will be made,” Supt. Curwen said.
According to the guidelines set out by the police, fishermen are not allowed to sell their catch to customers directly but must arrange with vendors to sell on their behalf. “To ensure compliance with the operating guidelines established by the RGPF, a police officer will be present at observing the activity whenever a net is pulled in. Should there be any violation, the activity would be discontinued. Fishermen are not allowed to sell their catch directly to the public to prevent the potential for crowding and violation of the physical distancing protocol. All sale will be made to licenced vendors who will package the produce in 2-pound, 5-pound and 10-pound bags for sale to the public,” Supt. Curwen explained.
Curwen reminded authorised vendors that the erection of new vending booths on the roadside is not permitted since it will encourage loitering. The sale of fish will be made at the fish market or by vendors passing throughout the villages.
Meanwhile, several farmer markets have also been established in strategic locations to facilitate the sale of fresh produce. “A maximum of 2 people allowed per vending station in keeping with the physical distancing protocol. Mask or other types of face-covering must be worn at all times. Frequent handwashing or the use of hand sanitisers is strictly required. a vending station may be established in small tents at the back of a pickup where feasible. Farmers and vendors should have a minimum of 700 pounds of fresh produce. Fresh produce should be prepackaged in bundles valued at $5, $10 and $20. Farmers are expected to set up between the hours of 6 am and 8 am,” he said.
The following are the established farmer markets through the tri-island state:
- Kirani James Athletic Stadium carpark
- Victoria vegetable market
- Gouyave vegetable market
- Natural Works, St David
- Sauteurs Bus terminal
- Grenville Bus terminal
- Petite Martinique at Emma’s Supermarket
- Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) in Carriacou.
Speaking on the arrangement made for farmers to sell their produce, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry & Fisheries, Elvis Morain, promised that as time progresses, some improvements will be made to better accommodate vendors. “We are happy to provide an avenue for them to serve the public with fresh produce. We know this is twofold of course at this time we are advised to consume as much fresh produce at possible. We also will be providing some tents because the conditions are terrible out there so we will be providing some tents at locations that will help to ease the burden of people and I want to encourage people again to behave in a very orderly manner and to understand that this arrangement may not be perfect but of course, as time goes on we are looking at 3 days so that we can improve things as we go along.”
Farmers wishing to sell their produce at the established markets on the assigned shopping days are required to contact the Ministry of Agriculture, on 417-2355 to confirm their participation.