HCM City strives to increase vegetable, fruit supply

Tuesday, Jul 13, 2021 11:16

Customers buy vegetables inside a supermarket in HCM City. The city is working to increase supply of vegetables and fruits. — VNS Photo Viet Dung

Businesses and authorities in HCM City are working to ensure supply and prices of vegetables and fruits remain steady despite a panicked populace buying them in bulk to stockpile following the closure of the city’s three wholesale markets and nearly two-thirds of traditional markets.

Supply of vegetables and fruits are now being affected by the closing of the city's wholesale markets and many traditional markets, where most of such products are sold and bought.

Demand began spiking before July 9 amid fears of the more intense lockdown under Directive 16 and people were rushing to stock up.

Some market traders began to jack up prices amidst the falling supply initially when the wholesale markets closed, but prices and supply began to stabilise after July 9.

Demand at supermarkets and food stores jumped again on Sunday, July 11, as people who had been unable to shop earlier made use of the weekend to buy in bulk and many other markets were closed, leading to some stores running out of stocks.

Dao Van Duc, deputy director of the Phuoc An Co-operative group in HCM City’s Binh Chanh District, said his group was making an effort to keep supplying vegetables and fruits to the market through Co.opMart and Big C retail chains and at quarantine zones.

It also had to pay for COVID-19 testing fees for delivery staff, which were expensive, but it tried to keep vegetable prices steady, he said.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said vegetable prices at supermarkets were steady but there was a shortage.

Many large retailers had been increasing supply by up to five times to make up for the closure of many traditional markets, but they were still not enough, he said.

Noticing prices and demand for vegetables are rising, individuals and businesses are trying to help by buying vegetables from other provinces and selling them at below market prices.

Trinh Thi Ngoc Hien, head of Anfoods Joint Stock Company in Ben Tre Province, said her company was offering to supply non-leafy vegetables and fruits to seafood buyers at cost prices.

The city Department of Industry and Trade is seeking ways to increase the supply of vegetables and fruits.

Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, its deputy director, said districts were expected to work with closed markets on COVID-19 regulations so that they could reopen.

Many traders at the three wholesale markets are also selling their goods online.

The transhipment station at the Thu Duc Wholesale Market where produce from large container trucks are unloaded and distributed around the city in smaller trucks. — Photo nld.com.vn

​Transhipment station set up at Thu Duc Wholesale market

Thu Duc City has set up a transhipment station at the Thu Duc Wholesale Market container parking lot yesterday (July 12) in an effort to increase supply of vegetables and fruits to the city.

A trial run was carried out on July 11, with six businesses receiving goods.

Shipments of produce from other provinces are transferred to smaller trucks to be transported to supermarkets and businesses’ staff kitchens around HCM City.

Up to 2,000 tonnes of vegetables and fruits will be distributed in this manner every night.

Strict measures are in place in the area, with only registered vehicles being allowed to enter and all personnel required to furnish negative COVID test results from within the last 72 hours.

Goods are to be unloaded and loaded quickly so that the container trucks from outside can leave at the earliest.

The Hoc Mon Wholesale Market is planning to set up a similar transhipment station soon.

HCM City has become the COVID epicentre of the country with more than 15,000 cases since the start of the fourth wave on April 27.

It has been under partial or total social distancing since May 31. — VNS

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