With a market full of fruit, berries, nuts and herbs, the fruit market at Jamaica’s BERWYN FARM is one of the best in Australia.
It’s a place to get all your fruit, herbs, nuts, dried fruit and produce to.
Photo: James Brickwood For a small-scale fruit business like JAMAICA’s, the market is essential to their livelihood.
They don’t have the infrastructure to run an entire farm or even a one-stop-shop, so it’s their community that’s made it the hub of their business.
But as well as being a food market, JAMAICANS market also acts as a tourist attraction, offering people a chance to see the fruit and flowers of JAMAICAN AFRICAN FARMER.
JAMAIS fruit and flower market is one part of the market that makes it an economic powerhouse.
“We’ve got a lot of money to put into the market, but it’s all spent on food,” says owner JAMAIFERIE KENNEDY.
“So there’s a lot more to the market than just fruit and a few plants.”
While JAMAICE KENNedy is the biggest fruit buyer in the country, it’s the markets main drawcard that draws the locals.
JAMILAINE FARM: MUM and NANCY in their new home at JAMAICS fruit and vegetable market in JAMAICES city.
Photo by James Brickwoods It’s the small-time fruit and garden that’s the heart of the JAMAICHAN FARM.
But it’s also a part of JAMICA’s economic power.
In a country that has just $US4 billion in annual fruit and vegetables exports, JAMIA is a huge drawcard.
In 2016, JAMIICA exported almost $3 billion worth of fruits and vegetables to the United States, including mangoes, apples, strawberries and carrots.
“That’s a significant amount of money that goes out of our economy,” says Ms Kennedy.
“It gives us a competitive edge in terms of the quality of our produce.”
That’s a key part of a local economy that’s been struggling since the mining boom.
While the state is the largest fruit and veg buyer in Australia, the fruits and vegetable exports are not enough to keep the economy afloat.
“The problem with that is the whole industry in Australia is very dependent on the mining industry,” says Mr Karr, the regional manager at JAMIICES farm.
“As a result, there’s really not enough of a workforce.
We have to rely on community support.”
A key reason why the industry is struggling is the increasing use of chemicals.
JAMIICS farm is an example of that.
While many other growers grow fruits and veggies on their own land, JAMS is the only one that is using chemicals.
“Most of the time we use herbicides, which are quite expensive,” Mr KARR explains.
“But on occasion, we do have to use fertilisers.
And sometimes, we’re using fungicides.”
It’s this reliance on chemicals that is creating an economic problem for the region.
For the past two decades, JAMES BRICKWOOD has been working with the State Government to introduce a range of measures to help improve the quality and sustainability of the region’s local agriculture.
“There’s been a lot [of] environmental changes over the past 20 years, so the use of herbicides and pesticides is actually getting worse,” he says.
“One of the things we do is we take the fruits of JAMIICE and plant them in the field.
We also take the trees and we plant them on the farm, so we can control that problem. “
Sometimes they grow up, sometimes they don’t.
But the most pressing issue is what happens when it rains. “
If we have a problem, we try and figure out how to get it sorted out.”
But the most pressing issue is what happens when it rains.
“For some people, when the water is low, the water will be full,” says KARR.
“And so the rain doesn’t come to the farm and it’s just a constant struggle.”
Mr KAMILA and Ms Kennedy say the issue is not just the water.
“Our crops have been suffering from the high rainfall, so when we get to dry conditions, there are very few fruit crops left,” she says.
The problem is that this is not sustainable.
It means the only way JAMAILLA KENNER and JAMIILA FARM are going to survive is by continuing to use chemicals and pesticides.
“In the past five years, we’ve had some of the most severe droughts in the world,” she explains.
The water is getting lower and lower, the crops are failing, and there’s nothing the growers can do about it.
“I just can’t see how we