Mixed feelings over produce market

Mixed feelings over produce market
Published: 02 June 2022
Informal traders in the City of Mutare have raised mixed feelings over the establishment of a produce market in the sprawling suburb of Dangamvura.

The Mutare City Council in partnership with Care and the United Nations Development Programme, set up the Mukwena Main Produce Market in Dangamvura, Mutare.

Some vendors told the Business Times the introduction of the produce market at their door step would ‘kill' their business particularly retailers of the produce.

"The produce market is a result of the realisation that some of our membership was having challenges on travelling far to get their produce for resale, and also that the mark up price on goods would be high to the consumers," the Manicaland Informal Traders Association president Itai Kariparire, said.

He added: "On the other brighter side, the wholesalers of the produce would have a safe and secure place to conduct business where they are protected from the sun, rain and other adverse weather conditions unlike in open spaces."

However, the move has irked some retailers who argue that their customers would be diminished since they have a chance of buying directly from the producers.

Vegetable vendor Shamiso Chikati said she was saddened by the development as her business would crumble.

"I have no idea where to start from as customers would buy straight from the producers that are now on our doorsteps. We are finished," Chikati said.

She added: "The fact that the producers accept small quantities in their sales means that we have been driven out of business."

Dangamvura resident Prisca Chaeruka welcomed the strategic location of the new market which she said was a timely shot in the arm of families that have limited disposable incomes for basic foodstuff.

"We are grateful for this development as we can now access the produce nearby and at a wholesale prices. Many of us were finding it unbearable to travel far to get fruits, vegetables among other produce. Local retailer vendors and informal traders were charging us an arm and a leg," Chaeruka said.

But Kariparire reassured some panicky informal traders that the market would be open at designated times so they could hoard their produce and resell later as not all the consumers would have the time to swarm to the produce market.

"There is no reason to worry as the market will be open at certain times and then close. We do not expect everyone to come and buy at the set times from the main market," Kariparire said.

The city council is planning to establish more markets around the city's high residential suburbs to decongest areas where residents conduct business in a bid to control the spread of Covid-19.
- Business Times
Tags: Produce,


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