In Nat Mauk Street -near Yangon’s Kandawgyi Lake- there is a weekend market that has more than meets the eye. This weekly agro-bazaar offers a wide selection of farm-fresh and certified-safe fruit and vegetables. It is called the Safe Food from Safe Farm market; this busy weekend bazaar gathers growers from Yangon and nearby regions to sell their organic- and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified produce. About 20 farmers sell their goods and display the certificates they have received proving that their products are safe and clean.
Started in 2015, the market is an initiative of the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association (MFVP) aimed at linking fresh producers directly to consumers and making natural and certified-safe fruit and vegetables more accessible to the public.
U Hla Aung, a senior trainer at MFVP, said it started to support a more sustainable market for organic- and GAP-certified produce in Yangon. “All sellers have certifications so we can guarantee the safety of the products sold,” he told irrawaddy.com. MFVP members, especially those who participate in the weekend market, are regularly inspected to make sure they comply with the recommended practices to grow and produce safe food, he added.
The market for certified crops in the country is still relatively small and many consumers are still not aware of the differences between certified products and non-certified goods. The weekend market helps small-scale growers sell their products and compete against bigger producers but it also serves as a venue to promote the benefits of growing and consuming safe produce.