The weekly Sabagro market has found a cosy home at newly opened Breadline Plaza in Windwardside and is increasing its variety of local fruits and produce less commonly found in stores. Joined by local farmers, the Organoponics Garden of Foundation Social Workplace Saba (FSWS) is establishing a steady clientele for its variety of fresh herbs and is developing customer appreciation for less common mammy apples, star fruits, local banana and avocado varieties which are not available in stores.
To complement the limited local offer, Organoponics manager and Cuban agricultural engineer Otto Manuel Anderez invited home-grown producers of jams and spices to join the weekly market. FSWS received some welcomed local support throughout the summer with the internship of undergraduate student at University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados Dimetri Whitfield. He majors in sociology with a minor in history and has been passionate about giving back to the community that raised him. At UWI he is taking courses in rural development and agrarian reform as well as social development, which sparked his interest in agriculture and social development here. Whitfield returned to Saba for the summer vacation and started an internship with FSWS in assisting the Organoponics project at The Level. The work involves facilitating a communication plan between businesses and farmers to improve reliable delivery of produce in line with actual demand. The drawback in the initial phase of reviving agriculture is that merchants and restaurants cannot rely on local farmers to regularly deliver the required quantities, thus having to place import orders well in advance. Whitfield believes his internship may help him in pursuing a Master’s degree in development and he enjoys practicing an in-depth qualitative research by interviewing locals. He believes his peers studying abroad have a responsibility to develop their island and that when coming back they should do something meaningful “to put back in what we got out” from having been raised in this community.