Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has operationalised five bulk fresh farm produce wholesale delivery sites in the high-density suburban shopping centres.
This follows the shutting down of vending bays along 5th Avenue in a bid to decongest the Central Business District as well as to maintain hygiene during and after the national lockdown period.
The local authority relocated vendors who were operating in the CBD to vending sites close to their places of residence.
Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube, in a statement, noted that the areas now operational are Sekusile Nkulumane bus terminus, Emganwini Mupedzanhamo Association, Old Pumula vegetables market, New Magwegwe market and Cowdray Park Bus terminus market.
“The decentralisation move seeks to bring food markets closer to the consumers as well as reduce cost of doing business, safety and security of girl child and mothers who have to endure waking up early morning to access transport to markets places,” Dube said.
“Council has allocated all the bulk delivery sites to an association of farmers markets currently delivering their produce to the existing food markets in the CBD. The operator is Bulawayo Association of Farmers Market (BAFM) and is open to new membership in the farming and vegetable wholesale community.”
The Town Clerk said while the council works on preparing permanent structures, the wholesale will be operating in a fenced-off area for trucks.
“The wholesale shall be open for licensed operators and bulk purchases. Only members of the association shall be allowed to bring in delivery trucks. Council and other stakeholders will police the markets to eliminate illegal sales such as boot sales,” he said.
Last month the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, came up with a raft of measures to be implemented and observed by local authorities in an effort to create a Resilient Food Supply Chain System(RFSCS) during and after the Covid-19 lockdown to avoid food shocks.