LOW SALES, BETTER THAN NOTHING!
Vendors at Mbare Musika have hailed the reopening of the vegetable market during the lockdown saying low sales are better than nothing.
Mbare and Lusaka markets were reopened following a government directive to allow farmers to sell their products and for consumers to get fresh vegetables at affordable prices as they were now being overcharged at retail stores.
During a tour of Mbare Musika yesterday, farmers expressed their joy over the decision as they were now worried that their produce was going to rot in the garden.
Sarudzai Nyagushe, a tomato farmer told H-Metro that she was happy that the market had reopened because her tomatoes were ready for market when Mbare closed and she had already suffered significant losses in the week that business was closed.
“We are so happy that the government allowed us to sell our produce. Madomasi anga akuora mumunda. Kana domasi rangotsvuka rakutoda kutengeswa.
Currently the business is low, probably because people don’t have transport to come, but we have made sales and its better than nothing.
“We suffered significant losses. Many tomatoes have rotted in our farms. We are also concerned about transport costs. We usually share the costs between four people per truck, but now they want one person per truck, so now it is more expensive.
“We have reduced the prices because it’s mostly only the police, soldiers and other key employees who are buying.
Vendors who sell in residential areas, who are our usual customers, aren’t coming because they are being harassed by the police in their selling points,” said Nyagushe.
Tompson Jack, a vegetable farmer, said the government has to come up with a way to allow vendors from residential areas to come and get vegetables from Mbare.
“Business is low. Macustomer edu makavharira kudzimba kwavo, havana transport. Usually, around 11am we would be gone. Dai hurumende yatibatsira kuti vawane mota pamugwagwa vauye vatenge.
Our customers are the masses who are home. “People are walking long distances from Warren Park, Kambuzuma, Mufakose Budiriro and other surrounding areas to come and purchase vegetables here at Mbare.
They want to come, but they don’t have transport. People are starving so a plan needs to be made to ensure that people manage to get food,” said Jack.
Another tomato farmer Munetsi Farawo, who had many tomatoes left over, said their main problem is transport and they are now being forced to reduce prices.
“Our main problem is transport. That’s why we have too many leftover tomatoes that are rotting. Fresh ones are on their way from the
We have been forced to reduce prices to $120 per box to make sure that we get rid of them. If we insist on the actual prices they will rot.
“We were allowed to sell, but I don’t think we will make any profits. Nothing can be done because if people are allowed to come in their usual numbers, we will be putting our lives at risk of catching the virus as the market will now be overpopulated.
“We will just do what we can until the lockdown is over. We can’t die because we want to get money risking our lives our health is
important,” he said.
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