Hanover SDC hosts bus tour and farmer's market

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Hanover SDC hosts bus tour and farmer's market

Thursday, July 02, 2020

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LUCEA, Hanover — The Social Development Commission will be hosting a bus tour and farmers' market in Hanover today as a means of assisting people affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The bus tour is slated to start at the SDC office located at Watson Taylor Park, Lucea in the parish and travel into the rural community of Cascade for a mini farmers' market. The tour will then make its way into the coastal town of Hopewell for a display and later make its way back to Watson Taylor Park for the big event of the day, a big farmers' market.

The bus tour is an annual event of the SDC. However, due to the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission has decided to add a farmers' market component to this year's tour.

Farmers that will participate are those who are registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), or are a part of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) farmers group.

"This year, I am looking to include the farmers because the farmers have been hit financially by the pandemic. So what I am planning to do as part of the bus tour this year, in addition to training and grants, we want to offer some financial incentives for the farmers and LEI's (Local Economic Initiative) Support Programme to make themselves available," stated Mashario Bisasor, SDC parish manager for Hanover.

Bisasor was addressing a recent Hanover Municipal Corporation monthly general meeting.

"So, each farmer, we are looking to give them between $2,500 and $5,000 just for being there. So, if you don't sell anything, we are still going to give you that incentive for being on spot, because we understand what is happening. So, you can use that to offset your travelling to and from, so to speak, even if you don't make any money, or the substantial money that you want to make," explained Bisasor.

"And, for each LEI, we want to give them between $10,000 and $15,000 to ensure that they leave with something, because we realised that all the entrepreneurs that we have, and the small person that has local businesses have been affected adversely by the pandemic and have not been earning for quite a while," added Bisasor.

The good news continues, as the commission will also be giving away up to $50,000 to shoppers.

"So, local persons who will be coming out, not the ones that we will be taking on the bus, we expect you to come with money in your pocket to spend with the people. But for other persons who will be supporting the venues themselves, we are going to give away between $20,000 and $50,000 to them so that they can buy food to carry home," stated Bisasor.

He further explained how the one-off giveaway utilising SDC dollars will work.

"We are going to create some SDC dollars, and persons qualifying for that can redeem it at the farmer or at the local economic initiative there, and so that you can leave with something in your hand to go home," explained Bisasor.

Anthony Lewis

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