Easter Agri-Night Market highlights egg farmers

Several of the Federation’s thirty-five registered egg farmers will have their produce featured during tonight’s Easter Agri-Night Market at the Basseterre Public Market. 

Tagged “Egg-Stravaganza”, the event is being hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Marine Resources in partnership with the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Ahead of the event, the organisers explained that the Easter Agri-Night Market is designed to “…provide a direct avenue for local farmers and vendors to engage with consumers, providing fresh, locally grown, healthy, and organic products.”

Head of the Media and Communication Department in the Ministry of Agriculture, Chaira Flanders, added, “Local food vendors and small businesses will have the opportunity to present their products and gain exposure. This, in turn, can lead to increased business opportunities and contribute to the overall economic development of the nation.”

Flanders also outlined why eggs farmers were chosen for the spotlight. 

“The focus is specifically on our egg producers – our poultry farmers – and that is because we noticed, based on consultations, that most of the attention is based on our pork producers, our beef producers and our chicken producers because we eat so much chicken but we completely disregard sometimes the work that goes into producing eggs. 

“The egg industry is well on its way…to the point that in the next 2, 3, 4, 5 years, St. Kitts and Nevis may never have to import eggs ever again because our A founders are producing abundantly on the island.”

Following the Thursday night market, which runs from 5pm to 10pm, government stakeholders hope that more people will choose to support local egg producers. 

Flanders underscored the many economic advantages of consumers opting to purchase local eggs.

“The buying of the local eggs supports the local farmers and it also contributes to the local economy. The local eggs are usually often much fresher and higher quality than the eggs that you get that [have] been shipped from long distances. In addition to that, the buying of the local eggs actually reduces the environmental impact of the food production because it decreases the amount of energy and the resources used for transportation,” she said. 

“Another thing that we want to also highlight is buying local eggs can actually help our consumers make more informed decisions about where their food comes from. Many times, you go to the supermarket and you purchase your food, not knowing what country the food even came from. Not everything is properly labelled – we have no idea what process the eggs went through, we have no idea what happened in the container with the eggs [which were] possibly two weeks over water. 

“…when you consider purchasing the local egg on island, you know that it’s the friendly faced farmer who’s just down the street, who’s working hard every day to make sure that his chickens have water, his chickens have proper lighting, and that they are well, …because they are treated with care and kindness as opposed to a business that is probably internationally owned and [is] just mechanically producing eggs.” 

Flanders also explained that the Ministry of Agriculture provides great support to egg farmers by assisting them with marketing their produce to local supermarkets and assisting with negotiations with these retailers. 

In future, the ministry is also prepared to assist poultry farmers venture into exporting their eggs to neighbouring countries.

While eggs are the main focus, the pre-Easter weekend activity will also feature a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and fish provided by local farmers. Cuisine that puts the spotlight on locally produced foods will also be on sale.

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