July 24, 2017 10:40 pm Last modified: 3:04 pm

Farmers Adding Value to Perishable Produce; Market Day Set

Department of Agriculture — Buy Local, Eat Fresh

The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA) will hold the 5th Annual Value Added Market Day Vendorama from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 29, at the Rudolph E. Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex, St. Croix.

The purpose of the market is to allow local farmers and vendors to showcase products that are made from locally-grown agricultural produce. Products expected to be available will include honey, soaps, fruit wines, fruit-flavored honey, wines, fruit juices, hot sauces, jams, baked goods, lotions, beauty products, plantain chips and much more.

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DOA Commissioner Carlos Robles said, “The environmental conditions in the Virgin Islands are perfect for the cultivation and production of a large number of tropical fruits. However, availability of these fruits is seasonal. This is an excellent venue for persons in the community to show what they can do to extend the shelf-life and add value to perishable produce.  Value-added items can significantly increase a farmer’s income.”

“Over the years, we have seen an increase in the number of vendors participating in the activity.  It is a good sign that residents see the benefits of adding value to local-grown produce by using various processes to make valuable items for locals and tourists,” said Audrey Browne, program coordinator.

Federal and local government agencies will also be present to provide information on programs and incentives that are available to start or improve businesses.

For more information, contact Audrey Browne at 778-0997, ext. 228 or e-mail audrey.browne@doa.vi.gov

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