Yangon Farmers market

The concepts of ‘Yangon City’ and ‘farming’ are difficult to connect. The smoggy, bustling roads and towering condos of the urban centre often do not even offer a view of any fertile land, though the fields are only a few miles away. It often seems that food magically appears at the supermarket or depots for street sales, with really no tangible connection with the outside world. Well, there is one volunteer group out to change that perception – they’re here to create the Yangon Farmer’s Market.

The market is located next to Kandawgyi Lake, inside the Karaweik garden. Starting just last year, the market has quickly become a hit with locals, tourists and expats alike for its charming atmosphere and pleasant produce. Indeed, it is the farmers who come to sell the products grown on their land directly to the public. A more human exchange stripped of needless commercialisation and the odious direction of suppliers and supermarket chains.

It’s not only for curious walk-ins but industrial representatives from hotels, restaurants and other establishments to form face-to-face relationships with growers and seek out new products. ‘Organic’ style products have been in vogue in Myanmar for a number of years now but the Yangon Farmer’s Market represents a further shift in the farm-to-table industry that consumers are responding warmly to.

“The market is about supporting local business but also introducing variety and healthiness to produce shopping,” Ko Myat Zaw Hein, co-ordinator of Yangon Farmers Market, said.

The market offers a wide variety of products including fresh bread, vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, yogurt, coffee, tea, juice, salad, spices and more. Every week new and different additions are available the community is said to be growing.

Supports claim the market helps promote promote sustainable production, marketing, and consumption of local produce whilst building trust between producers and consumers. Importantly, the market is a plastic free area. Customers will need to bring their own shopping bags.

“Plastics aren’t allowed. Plastic damages the natural environment and we are pushing both producers and consumers to look past it,” Ko Myat Zaw Hein said.

Generally, the event is held between 8am and 12pm, but the time changes to 7am until 11am for the summer.

At 48 weeks, the event has seen plenty of changes and improvements, according to the organisers.

“More and more people are coming, not only local people but foreigners,” Ko Myat Zaw Hein said.

“I love this market. All the vegetables, fruits and food stuffs are fresh and at reasonable prices. All from organic farms, we want to get their produce as often as possible,” Ma Shwe Sapal, customer, said.

The market today boasts 70 vendors.

Source: Myanmar Times

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