Decentralise and decongest the markets: eMkambo

FARMERS who delivers farm produce at local vegetables markets have commended the decentralization of the farmers markets from Mbare Musika to Harare Showground, Business Mail can reveal.

This comes after there have been considerations to decongest Mbare Musika as the market exposes traders to an unfavourable environment.

Chief Executive Officer of eMkambo Charles Dhewa said, “There is need for markets to welcome the move to decentralize farmers as it will decongest the crowds at Mbare Musika market.”

eMkambo is a knowledge broker in agricultural and rural development under a social enterprise called Knowledge Transfer Africa Private Limited that has been working in agriculture markets for more than a decade.

“The main idea of expanding the market to Harare Showgrounds is to decongest Mbare which is now overwhelmed by commodities, farmers, traders, buyers and many other actors, also trading and parking space at Mbare has become scarcey,” Dhehwa said.

Mbare Msika acts as the distribution centre for fruits and vegetables in Zimbabwe therefore contributing millions to the economy.

“Decentralisation of the farmers is also an advantage especially during this rainy season where the situation gets worse, rendering the whole market muddy. Many marketers, farmers, traders and buyers are very excited about the Showgrounds market because it has enough space and it is ideal for different kinds of commodities,” he said.

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) executive director Samuel Wadzai, embraced the decentralisation of the farmer’s market as the move will create a market friendly environment, protect farmers against harsh weather and also reduce tensions between service providers and vendors.

“The decentralisation of markets is a good idea and the initiative is going to provide positive results to the vendors. The place designed has to be appropriated with basic social amenities like running water and toilets. We have to first to ensure that there is space for parking and deliveries for farmers,” Wadzai said.

“Unlike the Mbare Msika market which has been monopolized and politicized, the Showgrounds market is going to be market friendly to the farmers. Hopefully, decentralisation will reduce the tension between vendors who had shun designated markets and service providers,” he said.

Over the years farmers have been losing income due to market failure, so there is need to properly organize the markets so as to build a strong agro-based economy.

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