HCMC preps food supply plans when social distancing loosened

Despite difficulties, recently, trade activities of essential food and foodstuffs in Ho Chi Minh City have gradually improved.
HCMC preps food supply plans when social distancing loosened ảnh 1 People must present market access tickets to enter traditional markets. (Photo: SGGP)

Sales of food and foodstuff items were estimated at more than VND5.86 trillion in September, down 0.6 percent from the previous month. Meanwhile, sales in August were estimated to decrease by 7.95 percent compared to July.

Up to now, HCMC has put the gathering and transshipment points of agricultural and food products into operation to ensure the supply of essential food products to citizens.

Specifically, the total volume of goods entering the market on the night of September 26 was about 124.1 tons of all kinds of products at the transshipment point of Binh Dien Wholesale Market, about 118 tons of fruits at Thu Duc Wholesale Market, and about 60 tons of vegetables at Hoc Mon Wholesale Market.

In the context of the complicated pandemic, the Department of Industry and Trade has coordinated with the People's Committees of districts and Thu Duc City to review, evaluate, and guide businesses to reopen points of sale, such as supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, and traditional markets, which were temporarily closed for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic, on the principle of opening within the safe zones to continue supplying goods to people.

Currently, localities in the green areas have allowed people to go shopping once a week as planned. Specifically, District 7's residents can buy essential goods once a week through distribution channels at nine supermarkets and 154 convenience stores. In Cu Chi District, residents in 14 green-zone communes have been able to buy goods once a week at active supply points, including one supermarket, one trade center, 60 convenience stores, one price-stabilized store, six traditional markets, 81 field grocery stores, and two points of connecting consumption for agricultural products in the area. In Can Gio District, 13,468 market access tickets have been issued to households to go to the market once a week at eight markets with 156 active small traders.

For organizations that connect distribution systems to deploy the grocery shopping service for local people, the total registration demand from August 23 to now (35 days) is 2,549,953 turns.

Because many other forms and methods in the supply of goods have been adopted, such as increasing points of sales, extending opening hours, allowing more types of food supply, organizing the force of shippers, and organizing online orders through applications, people have actively switched to online ordering and delivery service through the force of shippers and carried out direct shopping at field points of sale as in District 5 or in areas where direct trade activities are allowed, leading to a gradual decrease in the number of orders and the volume of goods supplied to people through the grocery shopping service.

It is expected that in the near future, according to the plan of opening up in the safe conditions of pandemic prevention and control of the city, especially after October 1, travel and the goods circulation will be facilitated with more open conditions, the demand for the grocery shopping service will continue to decrease, which will potentially put pressure on wholesale markets and modern distribution systems in the city.

Therefore, the Department of Industry and Trade requests the People's Committee of Thu Duc City and the districts to develop a plan for market operations. And in the process of implementation, if there are difficulties and obstacles, the department will coordinate with relevant sectors to support handling.

Besides, the Department of Industry and Trade will build a more sustainable operating model in the coming time, especially for the production chain of four key industries, namely mechanical, chemical and pharmaceutical, food processing, and electronic manufacturing, and two traditional industries, including textiles and garments, and footwear, and the supply chain of agricultural and food products through three wholesale markets in HCMC to adapt to the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and digital transformation of the economy.

The department will continue to review the needs for vaccines of businesses to coordinate with the Department of Health and the People's Committees of districts and Thu Duc City to speed up the vaccination progress for workers, creating favorable conditions for enterprises to be eligible for resuming production and business activities. Depending on the developments of the pandemic, the department will actively advise the People's Committee of HCMC to implement some events and trade promotion and consumer demand stimulus programs to support the recovery of production and business activities.