Vendors’ Passion and Creativity Are Economy’s and Community’s Heartbeat – NevisPages.com

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — The Basseterre Public Market on Bay Road was bursting at the seams Thursday evening, December 21, as hundreds of citizens and residents patronised the Agri Night Market, Christmas edition, where agricultural vendors and small business entrepreneurs displayed and sold their products.

Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and The Creative Economy, the Hon Samal Duggins, addressing participants at the Agri Night Market, Christmas edition.

Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and The Creative Economy, the Hon Samal Duggins, who was at the market and spent a considerable time visiting the various vendors and small business entrepreneurs, whom he described as the heartbeat of the economy and community.

“The Night Market, as many of you would know, is more than just a place to shop,” said Hon Duggins. “It is a stage where our local vendors showcase their talents and their hard work. It is a space where families, friends, and visitors come together to share in the delight of our culture and the bounty of our lands. To our dedicated vendors, your passion and creativity breathe life into this event. You are the heartbeat of our economy and our community.”

Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Larry Vaughn, buying lettuce from Mr Winguerson Magloire who grows them at his backyard garden in Taylors, next to AVEC in Basseterre.

Minister Duggins was joined by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Miguel Flemming, Director of Agriculture, Ms Jeanelle Kelly and other senior official, while from the Ministry of Small Business were Senior Business Advisors at the Small Business Development Centre, Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore, and Mr Delwayne Delaney, and other staff.

“As we gather here tonight, we are surrounded by the festive lights and joyous atmosphere, and at this time I want to extend a heartfelt Merry Christmas and warm season’s greetings to each and every one of you,” said Minister Duggins as he welcomed the large gathering of vendors and their customers. “This event is a critical fixture in our annual calendar, is not just a market; it is a celebration of our community’s spirit, resilience, and unity.”

According to Senior Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Centre, Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore, participants were drawn from both St. Kitts and Nevis, and included 102 vendors, 37 small businesses, five entities that offered cooked food, and a large presence of agricultural vendors offering products from their farms or their backyards.

From Nevis, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture et al, Mr Huey Sargeant, led a delegation that included the Manager of Nevis Abattoir, Mr Gary Griffin, and other staff, who displayed the abattoir’s famed products including Christmas smoked ham, smoked chicken, fresh chicken – whole and diced, rotisserie chicken, and sausages among other products.

The event which was emceed by Sugar Bowl had music offered by Grand Masters, while entertainment was offered by among others, Zack Nisbett’s International String Band, Masquerades, David and Goliath, and mummies.

Clockwise from top: Zack Nisbett International String Band; egg eating competition; St. Peter’s Actors; winner of one of the raffles, Ms Kiecha Caesar, receives her prize, a phone courtesy of Digicel from Senior Business Advisor at SBDC, Mr Delwayne Delaney.

There were entertaining egg eating, and watermelon eating competitions; and raffle draws among others. Two former market vendors who recently passed away, Mr Alton Liburd, and Ms Agnes Crossley were individually honoured with a minute’s silence each.

“As we look forward to the New Year, I am excited to share that we have several initiatives underway,” observed Hon Duggins. “These include bolstering our tourism sector, providing more opportunities for local entrepreneurs, and ensuring that every citizen has access to the resources they need to thrive. Our vision is clear – a prosperous, unified St. Kitts and Nevis where individuals have the chance to realise their dreams, and also their potential.”

Persons from all walks of life visited the Agri Market, Christmas Edition, and included Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Larry Vaughn, who patronised a number of vendors where apart from encouraging them to do what they are doing to help lower the country’s large import bill of food products in accordance with CARICOM 25 by 2025 Agenda, he bought locally grown fresh vegetables among other items.

“I wish you all a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with peace, happiness, and prosperity,” said Hon Samal Duggins in conclusion. “Enjoy the Night Market, enjoy the Sugar Mas, our National Carnival, and most importantly, cherish these memories and moments with your friends and loved ones. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – one filled with peace, happiness, and let us continue to celebrate the unique spirit of Christmas here in St. Kitts and Nevis.”



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