Lead volunteer Ruby Tanya Cruz of the Negros Farmers Weekend Market said they are happy to be given the opportunity to help farmers increase their income by providing them a venue where they can sell their products straight to consumers and at the right price.
The 1.2-hectare Negros Farmers Weekend Market at Magsaysay Avenue, Bacolod City, that marked its first anniversary Saturday, is a public education project of D.C. Cruz Trading Corp. and Herbe Foundation that teaches people to live a healthier life.
The market, that is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturdays, aims to give buyers a mix of farm-fresh products and services while providing a regular trading venue for local farmers.
Cruz said that aside from providing the local farmers a market, their purpose is to also change the mindset of the public and raise their awareness of issues involving the environment, health, and sustainable agriculture.
There are about seven big groups of farmers who sell their products at the weekend market, and the rest are vendors who are in the food business and have no restaurants, she said.
Cruz said there are about 55 vendors at the weekend market and some have regular jobs but love to sell food because it is their passion.
She said they also have amenities like the pavilion, where seminars for public education can be conducted for free. She cited the banana seminar conducted Saturday by a consultant to many big plantations in Mindanao because they want to start an alternative for sugarcane.
They also encourage free public information, Cruz added.
Cruz said Joel “Bagguer” Villaluz also plays wholesome music on his organ for free at the weekend market for families and the public to enjoy. “Here you see families bonding together in a place that is open and shady and provides a healing atmosphere,” she said.
Cruz said for the years beyond, they plan to invite more students. “We need to tap the next generation and want to instill a deeper consciousness in the youth because now a days they are more engrossed in computers,” she also said.
She said they have a big lawn at the weekend market to encourage the children to enjoy outdoor activities like frisbee, football and for families and bond with each other.*CGS