Middlemen ripping farmers
MIDDLEMEN at Mbare Market is making it difficult for farmers to trade their produce by grabbing their goods for resale, H-Metro has learned.
Perishables like vegetables and tomatoes are being grabbed by the middlemen (makoronyera) upon arriving at the market and farmers were not given chance to put their prices as demand for the commodities increased.
The price increase was due to limited buyers making their way to the market due to the national lockdown directive.
One of the farmers Dunmore Cheza of Domboshava pleaded with local authorities to closely monitor the middlemen who are after cashing on their goods at their expense.
“I could have made money today since the demand for our produce is high but the middle men (makoronyera) are grabbing our goods and put their mark-up and giving us peanuts,” said Cheza.
“They are too many and we are pleading with local authorities to find ways of screening them since they are harassing our potential buyers and overcharging them.
“After selling my produces without my consent they give us few dollars and cash in more than me.
“We are appealing to local authorities to encourage us to bring more goods by protecting us and as well as allowing us to meet our potential buyers directly without interferences by the middlemen.
“Transporters are charging us more since most of them are fearing to pass roadblocks and those who used to transport us cheaper by moving during the night are no longer available due to the lockdown directives.
“We thank President Mnangagwa by allowing us to trade our goods during the lockdown since they are perishables and some are seasonal,” he said.
H-Metro witnessed a number of farmers being harassed by the middle-men and most of the touts and unemployed young men were loitering around the market in search of money.
Among the buyers were essential workers given passes by their employers to move freely during the national lockdown.
A visit to few supermarkets in Harare saw the disappearing of green vegetables and fruits from the shelves as demand rise while few farmers are making their way into the central business centre.
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