Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Five agricultural wholesale markets will be built in Hà Nội despite the unresolved food hygiene and operational problems dogging city markets.
There are a total of 454 markets in the capital city, occupying 1.7 million square metres and hosting about 90,000 household businesses, the Hà Nội mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper reported. Most were built a long time ago, and their facilities are degraded and no longer capable of meeting food safety and hygiene requirements and fire protection, according to the report.
The 45,100sq.m Đền Lừ market is a wholesale market in the city’s outer district of Hoàng Mai, with 250-300 tonnes of commodities exchanged there per day. Although it has been considered as a centre for commodity exchanges between the capital city and adjacent provinces such as Hưng Yên, Hà Nam, its food quality has traders worried.
“Pork is sold at VNĐ24-35,000 (US$1-1.5) per kilogram here,” Nguyễn Thị San, a trader with 30 years’ experience, told Hà Nội mới. “Slaughterhouses that have been quarantined never sell meat at such a low price, which means the pork is probably the low-quality type that came from sick pigs.”
Some of the markets are not attracting as much business as before. Although located within the residential areas of the city’s inner Đống Đa District, the Ngã Tư Sở market is struggling to maintain its operations with the number of trade kiosks down from 180 to 70 in recent years.
Despite the obstacles, the Hà Nội People’s Committee has approved a project to build five more wholesale markets in the city, 20-30ha each, from now until 2030, according to the city’s trade department.
These markets will be located in the three outer distrits of Gia Lâm, Quốc Oai and Mê Linh, as well as in the satellite urban area of Phú Xuyên and Sơn Tây Town. A Korean enterprise has proposed building the one in Gia Lâm District.
Trần Thị Phương Lan, deputy director of Hà Nội’s trade department, said there is high demand for regional wholesale markets since the current eight wholesale markets are only capable of accommodating trade kiosks, not additional facilities such as auction areas and food processing and preservation storage.
“These new agricultural wholesale markets will be constructed in keeping with international logistics standards and able to meet regional commodity exchange demands,” she said.
Operating and managing these regional-level markets will require the expertise of foreign specialists, said Vũ Vinh Phú, chairman of the Hà Nội Supermarket Association.
“All processes, from quality guarantee to quarantine, will require a great deal of experience and collaboration between different parties,” he said. — VNS