COVID-19: Manufacturers’ Association satisfied with sale and purchase of fresh produce and local products initiative

Agricultural produce from Dominica

President of the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA), Severin McKenzie, says the association is satisfied with the cooperation received from farmers on the island following its new initiative launched in light of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

This initiative is to facilitate the sale and purchase of fresh produce and other local products in a safe environment online in order to help cope with the nutritional needs of the population and to promote social distancing and discourage person-to-person contact, the main cause of the community spread of the virus.

The activity is being done in collaboration with Dominica News Online (DNO) and other media institutions.

“We are satisfied with the cooperation that we have been getting from the farmers, we are encouraged with the response we have received and it seems that a number of consumers have taken advantage of the opportunity,” he told DNO during an interview on Tuesday.

According to Mckenzie, because of the restrictions at the Roseau Market where the facility is opened for just a few hours, a few days a week, many people are very reluctant to go to the Roseau Market to get their fresh produce.

“So the initiative we have taken having this facility for people to purchase particularly their fresh produce, ground provisions and vegetables online or via telephone-WhatsApp has proven to be a very convenient approach for a number of persons,” he stated.

McKenzie said the DMA is encouraging persons to continue to take advantage of the initiative.

“We are encouraging farmers particularly to promote their products that they have, by going online on DNO and the Dominica Manufacturer’s Facebook page in order to expose their products and also to expose their contact information so that the consumers can make direct contact with them,” he encouraged.

Meantime, McKenzie indicated that the DMA plans to continue the initiative beyond Covid-19.

 “People are going to continuously require fresh produce. What we have seen is that we have seen some consumers establishing almost a permanent relationship where they are asking the farmers to just deliver their products to them at the end of every week, some are doing it every two weeks,” he explained.

He said further that the DMA encourages the farmers to collaborate with their counterparts in the villages to request for certain items they do not have.

 “So you do not have cabbage, but you know your client wants cabbage, you could take the cabbage from your counterparts in the village and ease up the burden of everybody having to try to deliver their own thing,” he explained

Consumers can WhatsApp their information to Mckenzie, at 2451249.

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  1. Mike
    April 25, 2020

    Mr McKenzie it’s time to call for the relaxation of the curfew, 7pm to 6am 7 days a week is reasonable and shops can close at 5pm. It seems like Dominicans enjoys putting maximum pain on other Dominicans and if covid does not destroy us our Government will with it’s senseless and ruthless lock down of it citizens. Public workers are on a paid vacation so they alright, essential workers are working and getting paid the owners of the supermarkets are doing great the rest of us not so good.

  2. April 24, 2020

    This is very good news. Dominican must come forward and support this. need to hear more local news. need the eggs and meats to go with this, grow and support local.

  3. Ibo Francer
    April 23, 2020

    These initiatives seem to bearing fruits for the time being. I hope this symbiotic relationship between farmers and consumers will continue to be a resounding success. I strongly believe that no other sector should get priority over agriculture. Everyone of us must eat to survive. Food security should be of the highest priority. I would like to see farming being subsidized so farmers will be incentivized to produce more. The subsidy will only go to bona fide, serious farmers. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, seeds, seedlings, fencing wire and poles, easy access to low interest loans, land preparation by the agriculture department, all these and more if Dominica will be put in a position to feed itself. The government should spend the CBI monies (if there is any left) not all on hotels but on economic activities that directly help a large number of economically deprived people, our farmers.

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