THE launch of the Maluti Fresh Produce Market Centre by Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro on Wednesday comes as a great impetus to local farmers who have been crying foul for a long time with challenges of access to market.
Oct. 7, 2021
2 min read
Food market opens opportunities for farmers
- Farmers encouraged to produce in big quantities to reduce hunger
- Centre to allow farmers to properly market their produce
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The primary objective of the Maluti Fresh Produce Market is to rectify the structural deficiencies in the local fresh produce market. This, as part of LNDC’s mandate, will improve market access to amassed vegetable production whilst enabling greater local participation in vegetable production and ultimately improving economic activity.
The market centre will allow individuals engaged in farming activities to properly market their fresh produce while also receiving prompt payments for their products.
For years, Lesotho farmers have been stressed by poor access to market for their produce, leading to scores of others deciding to quit the industry.
But now, with the market centre fully operational, farmers will be encouraged to produce in big quantities and perhaps that will go a long way towards reduction in hunger and poverty while at the same time improving the capacity of small businesses holders in the country.
At the same time, and now with the market available, farmers will have to commit to quality production and in large quantity so that consumers will also feel the need to visit the centre on a regular basis to purchase products.
Furthermore, large retail stores in the country will also feel entitled to visit the place only if the production capacity is of high standards and quantity. Anything below standards will result in potential buyers, choosing to go elsewhere, as far as South Africa to buy certain products.
That way, the market centre would not be serving its principal purpose and could end up falling apart like many other big government projects that have collapsed in the past.
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The market center was developed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through a grant from the International Trade Centre (ITC) under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Project Phase II. The Ministry of Trade and Industry handed the asset over to the LNDC, which was tasked with developing the market centre for private investment and commercial operationalisation.
The Ministry of Farming and Food Security as well as that of Trade and Industry should also play a crucial role towards ensuring that the market centre remains in good condition and that only fruits and vegetables of the highest standards are supplied to the facility.
This is a guaranteed way to entice more buyers to the facility, including big retail stores.