Macoya market vendors demand meeting with Namdevo

This elderly man is seen purchasing paw-paw at the Namdevco market at Harris Promenade San Fernando
This elderly man is seen purchasing paw-paw at the Namdevco market at Harris Promenade San Fernando

MACOYA wholesale market vendors want a meeting with the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco) to discuss issues relating to the day-to-day operations of the market facility.

Safety is chief among their concerns. They would like point of sale (Linx) banking machines, increased security, staggered hours of operation and the installation of CCTV cameras around the compound.

Their requests were highlighted in a letter sent to Namdevco chief executive officer by their attorney, Richard Jaggessar.

They would also like a meeting with the managers of the market to discuss solutions. They also admitted they were fearful of victimisation because of their letter so it was copied to the Ombudsman, Equal Opportunity Commission. It was also sent to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Macoya market operates Monday-Friday, 3-10 am, and 5am-noon on Sundays. It can hold 200 vendors and some 300-400 buyers. Buyers line up from the night before waiting for the facility to open and when it does, only the first 100 are allowed on the compound.

The letter said those who need to wait, oftentimes have to sit in their vehicles with bundles of cash. “An average buyer on an average Friday spends tens of thousands of dollars in cash at the Macoya Market.”

With there being only one police officer assigned to the facility, the group said there is no way for them to notify the officer or raise an alert in the case of emergency.

They complained that some buyers were given first preference on the compound because of who they work for and are allowed to skip the line.

“There is no economic benefit to having ‘preferred buyers’ or at least none to the general public,” the letter said.

The group would also like the establishment of a mixed committee of market managers, buyers and vendors to deal with disciplinary matters and concerns.

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