Agriculture Minister, Indar Weir, is satisfied with the work being done on the Fairchild Street Market as part of a redevelopment project to accommodate a wide-ranging number of vendors.
He expressed this today as he, along with Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Phillips and Permanent Secretary, Terry Bascombe, toured the project with representatives from the Markets Division of his Ministry, the Urban Development Commission, BARVEN and the media, guided by the project team.
While acknowledging that Government had earlier given the assurance it would do everything possible to look after small businesses, Minister Weir recalled it was equally about making sure that “all those involved in vending are accommodated in a very humane fashion and that the environment in which they are asked to conduct their business is one that is conducive to people coming and being able to be in an environment that is healthy and clean”.
“The project is designed basically to make sure we empower those vendors who for a long time have been complaining that they either were being ignored or enough wasn’t been done to facilitate them,” he stated, adding that the market was a complete transformation from what he had originally seen.
Thanking the project staff and all involved, he said: “I am indeed satisfied that the 37 stalls that are going to be soon completed will accommodate the food vendors that we have had to relocate; they clearly would have been disenfranchised for a period of time. I am equally satisfied that when this Phase One, going into Phase Two is completed that we would have a total of 44 food vendors here.”
The visit, he added, was for him to see that no one would be disadvantaged, and everyone who was involved and had a title, contract or an agreement with the Markets Division of Agriculture and Food Security, would be accommodated in the project.
Explaining that this was the reason why there would be 44 food stalls, the Agriculture Minister said: “I am satisfied now that we are doing the right thing and that equally those persons from Golden Square who were displaced will be accommodated to continue [their] food vending in this Phase One. … Those vendors who are on the front doing fruit and vegetables will also be accommodated….”
Mr. Weir suggested that the project could be a template for other market projects across Barbados, and expressed satisfaction that in addition to fruit and vegetable vending, persons with paintings and craft could also be accommodated, as well as light entertainment.