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by Emmanuel Joseph

The Berinda Cox Fish Market at Oistins and vending facilities in Bridgetown have been identified for major expansion and upgrade during the coming financial year.

In an exclusive interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, Manager of Markets, Henderson Greaves, disclosed that the Oistins complex was among markets across the island that were on the “front burner” for 2013 improvements.

Greaves said the Oistins upgrade was likely to cost about a quarter of a million dollars and would involve expansion of its chill and cold storage capacity to accommodate a possible increase in landings.

“At Oistins, the fishing fleet has increased, with new entrepreneurs gravitating there. So we need to expand our chill and cold storage capacity to accommodate the large number of fish landings expected this coming season, if we are to judge from the large catches last season,” informed the manager of markets.

“We have to make more space across our operational floor for boning. We need to upgrade our staff facilities because a happy staff is a productive staff. Our senior supervisory and management staff and general staffing quarters also have to be upgraded.”

Explaining that the public market at Oistins required a lot of work, he noted that the rehabilitation project would also include strengthening of columns and “tidying up the office for human habitation”.

Greaves said the Cheapside Market was also to be improved along with the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex, particularly for entities that want to export fish to the European Union.

However, he pointed out that this would depend on the availability of funds.

The government official also revealed that the agency was going to take about $600,000 to complete the long-awaited relocation of vendors from the area of the dismantled Fairchild Street Public Market to Probyn Street.

“At Fairchild Street, further work had come to a standstill. Things are the same as the last six months as the Ministry of Transport and Works has two projects there, but financing is needed,” pointed out Greaves.

He said officials would have to wait until the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure were approved by Parliament to see what funding would be allocated.

The MTW, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, is planning to clear the area of the old Fairchild Street Market to make way for a new multi-million-dollar complex, which would include a proposed new bus terminal.

“The promised funding would allow us to complete the relocation of the vendors to Probyn Street by the end of March and the additional work to be done,” stated Greaves.

As far as the other smaller markets were concerned, he observed that the one at Six Roads, St. Philip had recently been “settled” with redevelopment work being done this year.

“It would take less than $100,000 to upgrade the smaller markets. We have the Glebe, Speightstown and the Church Street outdoor facilities. I can’t give an exact figure for what it would cost to upgrade each of these markets. It would depend on the amount to be allocated from the Estimates,” he added.

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