Hanoi to build five more agricultural wholesale markets hinh anh 1Small businesses at the Long Bien Market in Hanoi at night (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Five agricultural wholesale markets will be built in Hanoi 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 Hanoi Moi (New Hanoi) 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 Den Lu market is a wholesale market in the city’s outer district of Hoang 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 Hung Yen and Ha Nam, its food quality has made traders worried.

“Pork is sold at 24,000-35,000 VND (1-1.5 USD) per kilogram here,” Nguyen Thi San, a trader with 30 years’ experience, told Hanoi Moi. “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 Dong Da district, Nga Tu So 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 Hanoi 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 Lam, Quoc Oai and Me Linh, as well as in the satellite urban area of Phu Xuyen and Son Tay town. A Korean enterprise has proposed building the one in Gia Lam district.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade, 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 Vu Vinh Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association.

“All processes, from quality guarantee to quarantine, will require a great deal of experience and collaboration between different parties,” he said.-VNA