On Saturday, April 8, 2017, the Bureau of Small Business Administration (SBA) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry held its second Farmers Day Market from 9:00 a.m. to 3: 00 p.m. at Liberian Market Place, Nancy B. Doe Jorkpen Town Market, located in Sinkor. The Liberian Market Place is an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and provides a platform for vegetables/fruits farmers to bring their produce to the market as well as for SMEs to exhibit their innovations. The Farmers Market Day is held every 2nd and last Saturday of every month.
Farmers from Kakata, Bentol City and Duala were mobilized by the SBA and they bought and sold varieties of farm produce such as cucumber, water mellon, okra, bitter balls, onion leaf, banana, sweet potatoes, egg-plant, carrot, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cassava, palaver sauce, corn, etc. Buyers included supermarkets, market women and the general public.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Hon. Axel M. Addy conducted a special training on Marketing and Branding for 25 SMEs whose produce at on exhibit at the Liberian Market Place. The training was interactive and allowed participants to freely discuss new branding ideas about Fabrar Rice, a locally produced Liberian rice. At the end of the training, participants proposed a new brand name for Fabrar Rice.
The National Standards Laboratory (NSL) at the Ministry organized an outreach program for SMEs in the food services sector at the Liberian Market Place. The goal of the outreach was to increase awareness among potential customers of NSL about basic services provided by the NSL in the area of food safety. Mr. Stephen Y. Mambu, the Director of the NSL, conducted the outreach and discussed the mission and objectives of the NSL. He then outlined various categories of services presently available at the NSL. This was followed by demonstrations on testing of food items for quality, which included testing of fortified flour for iron, determination of pH of soft drinks and alcoholic content for alcoholic drinks. The Metrology Department also made demonstrations on scales and gas stations pump calibration and calibration.
H.E. Madam Ellen John Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia made a brief stop at and toured the Liberian Market Place and thanked the farmers for the initiative.