New produce market in the CBD cuts out middleman

2011-03-15 00:00

SMALL-SCALE emerging farmers in and around the KZN midlands can finally access a ready market with the launch of Newport Market in the CBD of Pietermaritzburg.

The National Development Agency (NDA) has invested R3,5 million in getting the market up and running.

The market is at 397 Langalibalele Street, a busy spot that is expected to attract significant foot traffic.

“The consumers will be getting fresh produce without paying an arm and a leg as there will be no middle-man to facilitate the trade,” the NDA explained.

The concept is the brainchild of the chairperson of the Newport Market Co-operative, Muhle Sibisi, who developed it in 2001.

Speaking at the launch, Sibisi said the aim is to alleviate poverty in rural communities by supporting small-scale emerging farmers.

“I had a dream one day that the market will become a massive one … and we are achieving that dream with the NDA’s support.”

Newport employs more than 25 people.

The NDA said it has “a database of farmers from the midlands and afar. These farmers will get advice on what to plant and when to plant based on market demand from the Newport Market personnel.

“This approach will play a major role in the eradication of poverty and creation of much-needed jobs.”

The chief executive officer of the NDA, Vuyelwa Nhlapo, described the occasion as historic, adding that access to markets is the key to sustainable ventures.

In order to ensure its sustainability, Mark Elliot of Peter and Co. market agents has mentored Newport through the process.

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