Defense Committee, The Ancon Farmers Market

The Farmers Market is not only essential to the poor from the nearby barrios being able to feed themselves. Nor is it just a hip place for foreigners to get a flavor of Panama. It’s also a bastion of small-time capitalism, where mini-super owners stock their stores with groceries without paying a wholesaler’s cut, where farmers cut out of the “globalized economy” can still hold out and stay in business. Archive photo by Eric Jackson.

The Ancon Farmers Market

by the Comite de Defensa para la Continuidad de la Operacion del Mercado de Abastos

Seven years ago there was the intention to move the Farmers Market (Mercado de Abastos), due to the need to build a Metro station – and other awkward and improper excuses.

Given the location of the new facilities, access will be impossible for the poor customers in Curundu, San Miguel, Santa Ana and other areas. The increased rent for the new facilities, would be transferred to the users, which would increase the cost of living, something critical due to the economic conditions that the country is experiencing.

The demolition of the existing infrastructures, valued at many millions of dollars, would constitute a property loss of all the investments. We have already lived through experiences of questionable demolitions, like the one of the former US Embassy in on Avenida Balboa and of the uilding of what was the Ministry of Health, where later the Ministry of Economy and Finance operated.

The deteriorated conditions of the existing facilities have been the product of total neglect by the mayor’s office, of the state of the streets, sanitary facilities, refrigeration equipment, etc. What is appropriate is that in the same place where the current facilities are, parking structures, new multi-story buildings, including elevator and refrigeration should be built. The best location is the existing one. Let’s not continue the campaign promises of the land where the current market is situated, nor of improved farmers market facilities.

To the extent that there are more locations where agricultural products from the Interior can be sold, the agricultural sector will be strengthened. The elimination of the Farmers Market will is a policy stad against the downtrodden agricultural sector.

Enough of this demagoguery and deceit!


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