The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management is carrying out improvements to several public facilities under its aegis.
And, Director of Projects in the Special Development Projects Unit of the Ministry, Wayne Baker, has pointed out that among the facilities earmarked for upgrading were the public markets, in particular, the Bridgetown complex.
Speaking during a recent interview, he said that the aim of the renovations was to bring the fish markets in line with international standards which would allow for the exportation of fish to the European Union.
Among the renovations carried out at the Bridgetown complex were the construction of three additional processing tables; the upgrading of four stalls in the sales area; and the installation of water saving devices.
"We’ve done a lot of work there [at the Bridgetown Market] and… so far, we have spent about $800,000 on work, including the upgrading of the stalls where we now have display cases installed. So, whenever customers come they should see fish being displayed on ice in more hygienic conditions. Additionally, we have upgraded the lighting and the water flow to the area," Mr. Baker pointed out.
The Projects Director added that his office would also be carrying out extensive repairs to the piers at the Bridgetown complex.
"We are going to complete the work on the piers including the installation of the utilities, water and electricity, and we are also looking at extending the area where the fish is first off-loaded. The total amount of money to be spent during the financial year 2012 to 2013 should be about $900,000."
According to Mr. Baker, remedial work had also started at the Oistins, Berinda Cox Fish Market, while the Six Roads Public Market had seen some improvement to its offices and the vendors’ stalls.
In addition, the Projects Director also gave an update on some of the projects expected to commence this year.
"We are hoping to start the new entomology building here at the Ministry of Agriculture to replace the one demolished some years ago. That project should be around $800,000 or so. We are also going to be doing some work building new stalls to replace those currently at the Church Street outdoor facility in Speightstown. That is going to be done in two phases; the first will be in this financial year, and the second phase in the next financial year. Sixteen stalls will be built at a cost of approximately $200, 000," Mr. Baker said.