THE Taiwan Technical Mission, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives hosted its Farmer’s Market on 28th February 2020 in the Castries Area, at the famous Constitution Park located opposite the Castries Boulevard. The event began at 8:30 am and ended at 5:00 pm. Many distinguished guests participated, such as H.E. Douglas Shen, the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, Minister with responsibility for External Affairs, and Honourable Andy Daniel, Speaker of the House of Assembly.
There were farmers from all over the country who came to sell their produce. Many farmers sold fruits and vegetables like lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, plantains, citrus and many other root crops. Some persons sold seedlings, potted plants, flowering shrubs, tree crops, and cut flowers. The research department of the Ministry of Agriculture also showcased the workings of their hydroponics unit and spoke in depth about its benefits and highlights. There was also a large volume of value-added products like personal care items, natural tea cleansers, and soaps. There were unique goods that were also sold like vegan cakes and baked goods, local essences like vanilla essence, apricot, pineapple and pepper sauce, ice cream, sorbets, local wines, and local smoothies. Moreover, the Taiwan embassy also participated in this event, where they not only brought the information regarding Taiwan Scholarships but also provided free tasting on traditional Taiwan street food and wheel pies which attracted crowds.
The highlight of the event showcased the Upton Girls Garden Centre and the Bocage Secondary School, who both made and distributed several unique goods produced by the students themselves. The Food and Nutrition students, together with their Food & Nutrition teachers, made various creative dishes, including watermelon marmalade, pepper biscuits, salsa, vegetable chutney, tomato cake, pineapple and zucchini muffin, and pineapple bread.
The students enjoyed themselves throughout the day and were able to attract a large crowd of persons who were able to patronize their booth. The school and other students also came to the farmers’ market to show their support and school spirit.
In addition to the sale of goods, the Ministry of Health also provided the patrons of the Castries Farmers Market with free blood pressure testing, blood sugar testing, and weight monitoring. Many persons were able to come and get their health checked by these means. They were then given advice on how to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle going forward.
Additionally, the Farmer’s Market had two watermelon eating competitions with Primary School students. The Winners were awarded selected fruits as a reward for the first place. All participants in the competition were also awarded t-shirts. Farmers also expressed their appreciation for the event and their willingness to attend future markets. Next farmers market will be held in Micoud on 27th March.