The Tuesday and Friday Farmers Market has been relocated. Jesse Mendoza reports.
vlcsnap-2013-05-14-20h20m13s153The Belmopan City Council has faced an exhaustive three years of finding a location to place the Belmopan Farmers Market. In June of last year it was agreed on by all parties that the Market would remain at its current location but that upgrades would be done. About† two months ago Sab Morales of the Belmopan City Council told us that the council was considering to place the Tuesday and Friday Market at the Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds. Initially, that suggestion was not well received by the market vendors and customers but today, that plan is well on its way. Plus news paid a visit to the new location and things seemed to be carrying on as per normal. The highway was bordered on both sides with vehicles as person made their way on to the new grounds. We spoke firstly with Shalwa Leslie, a resident of Belmopan. She gave her thoughts on the relocation.

Shawa Leslie – Belmopan Resident:
vlcsnap-2013-05-14-21h43m58s6I have to say that at first I was skeptical about it, but since I visited it today I am sure the vendors have more space, so there should be less quarrel.

Shalwa Leslie says that she is also pleased with the organizational efforts which the council has implemented with the relocation of the market.

Shawa Leslie – Belmopan Resident:
I like that it’s more organized.† I know where the vegetable section is, and I know where the clothing section is, [and] where the food section is.† So it’s organized.† That’s a rare thing you find in Belize.

Mrs. Alice Myers of Roaring Creek is also a regular of the Tuesday and Friday Market. She says that having the market closer to her is indeed a great thing. However she has a problem with the parking.

Alice Myers – Resident of Roaring Creek:
vlcsnap-2013-05-14-21h11m51s99[The new location] is good, because I can actually walk over.† I don’t have to go way into Belmopan. But my problem is the parking, because as they park both sides of the highway.
This morning I came in my vehicle, and I barely could have came in.† They almost bumped me.† I parked for a minute, and suddenly the guy wanted me to move, because he wanted to come out.† So I think it’s an issue.

While Mrs. Myers is grateful that she does not have to travel that far, Shalwa Leslie says that the Belmopan City Council needs to provide a better transport system for residents of the City.

Shawa Leslie – Belmopan Resident:†
I personally don’t like the distance, but I am able to transport myself, so I believe for the housewives and workers there needs to be a shuttle service, that would bring them directly to the Market.† That would help the vendors also for making more money.† Bear in mind that the vendors might be the ones that would be losing.

Alice Myers does have some concerns though. She says that the people selling marine products need to be relocated from the entrance of the market.

Alice Myers – Resident of Roaring Creek:
vlcsnap-2013-05-14-21h06m43s125Inside the market, it’s very spacious.† I like it, but we need to focus on the Highway.† Cars can cause accidents.† The vendors, some of them are outside, the dust, it’s not really healthy.† Like the people that sell fish, they open their ice box, dust off of the traffic and so [gets in].† They really need to do something about that.
[Overall] I’m very appreciative [of the move] because it’s more space for the people, the vendors, but right now it’s kind of slow for them because it’s a new location.† Gradually I hope it picks up for the vendors.

Another concern expressed was that of having vegetables being placed on the ground. Shawa Leslie says that the Council and Department of Health needs to enforce these laws which are already on the books.

Shawa Leslie – Belmopan Resident:
I do have concerns.† I can’t readily find where the bathroom is. There is only one entrance.† I believe there should be an entrance and an exit. It’s not clear if you should drive in the market or not.† I met a friend that actually drove in, and when he was inside then he realised he should not have been in there. And the vegetables are still on the floor, which is an health issue.†

Reporting for Plusnews I am Jesse Mendoza.
The Tuesday and Friday Belmopan Market will be located at the Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds for the next 12 months.