RESIDENTS of the St Catherine community of Kitson Town, determined not to sit and wait for charity, yesterday reopened a farmers' market in the community.
The farming district, which once bustled with buyers and sellers, had hardly seen any action for more than two decades largely because of a rundown market and the migration of buyers to Spanish Town, Jamaica's old capital.
But using their meagre resources, the resilient residents repainted the building, repaired sections of the roof and undertook a general clean-up of the grounds in preparation for yesterday's opening.
The market, which from now onwards will be used on a daily basis, was reopened by former member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine Enid Bennett, under whose watch it was constructed in the early 1980s.
"I am very supportive of what is taking place here as this constituency is a farming constituency. Before this market was built, the vendors used to sell on the street corner and they were exposed to rain and the elements. I hope more farmers will come out as time goes by," Bennett told the Jamaica Observer.
In the past, vendors did good business through their customers who hailed from the districts of Bendon, Mercury Gardens, Green Acres, Bellevue Heights, Frenchman Heights and other communities.
Tyrone Napier of the Kitson Town Citizens' Association is optimistic that the market will return to its glory days.
"It is a progression and we are glad to have made a significant start. I hope things will pick up as time goes by," Napier said.
For Hortense Angus, the farmers' market is a welcome convenience and will spare her the journey to the old capital to buy produce.
"I love shopping here; and it is very convenient for us," she told the Observer.
Yanique Wallace, who did brisk business selling naseberries yesterday, was glad for the opportunity to sell her produce so near to her home.
"We want this to work and we will make it work. From now on, come to Kitson Town for the best fruit and vegetables and our prices are reasonable," she declared
Apart from Wallace's naseberries, other vendors had frog bananas, plantains, jackfruit, coconuts, carrots, pumpkins, cooked food, yams, garments, confectionery and other foods on offer.