Most Jamaican public food markets are ghastly. They are congested, disorganised and atrociously unsightly. Indeed, they present the overall appearance of a nightmarish afterthought. The presentation of products is dreadfully unappetising and the entire surroundings assault all the senses simultaneously. Yet markets do not have to look that way. They can be, and they should be clean, attractively designed, brightly naturally lit locations where vendors and purchasers can make their exchanges pleasantly.
There are many such markets all around the world that meet or exceed very high standards of hygiene and are attractive too. If the food market is attractive then customers feel more confident about buying and will probably buy more.
Among the development plans of the new Jamaican government should be a programme to bring all its markets to established professional standards. This means that the markets should be covered, fully ventilated, well lit, have proper drainage, clean, and with individual stalls that allow the merchants to advertise their wares and themselves in an aesthetically delightful way. If the government built one such market each year, it would take only fewer than four regular elections to have a decent market in every parish.