Editor’s note: This is one of a series of posts by students from Michigan State University in the U.S. and LUANAR University in Malawi who participated in the Frugal Innovations Program of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.
By Maxwell Makanda
11th August, 2015
Lilongwe city is located in the central of Malawi with a population that is increasing at a rapid rate. The city is demarcated into different residential areas and the vast population has contributed to the existence of markets at different locations within the Lilongwe urban. During the visitation of the markets in areas 25A and 47, a number of things were noted which seemed continuously affect the day to day business life of vendors.
I noted that area 47 market is better as compared to area 25A market in terms of planning, quality of selling places and sanitation. It was understood that at area 25A have complications with the cleaning of the market because the city council is mostly not assisting the market with funds to carry out its duties normally. Area 47 market has an advantage because is a suburb market and is close to the soccer stadium which has prompted the city council to consider in funding the market.
A number of problems faced by the market as a whole were presented by the market officials (the market master, revenue collector personnel, the market chairperson and section chairpersons). The main burning challenge being that of sanitation and space. But capital for expansion and shortage of cooperatives were also among the crucial problems I noted during the visitation.
All in all, innovative ideas are standing as a priority in reducing the challenges in the marketing systems that are being encountered by the vendors in both areas.