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Sarawak to have mega wholesale markets

MIRI: Mega wholesale food markets, each measuring the size of 50 football fields combined, will be set up in major urban cities in Sarawak to cater to the increasing needs of a growing urban population.

The state government has identified sites in Kuching, Miri and Sibu for such markets to be built; areas where the urban population is fast booming, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

Dr Chan, who is also State Industrial Development Minister and State Agriculture Modernisation Minister, said this concept of having one huge food market to cater to the needs in a particular city or big town is rather new to this state.

“We will have at least three of these huge food markets in Sarawak, one each in Kuching, Miri and Sibu. Each of them will measure 50 acres in size (50 football fields). These markets will serve as a central hub to sell all kinds of agriculture products and food.

“It will be a place for people to congregate and buy foodstuffs that are very fresh in big quantities. Huge cold storage depots will be built in each of these markets.

“We have identified one area in Sibu for this already. In Miri, it will be located in the outskirts of the city in Bekenu where there are lots of farms and orchards,” he said after discussing the idea with the Miri City Council.

Dr Chan said that at present, those who want to buy fresh products in bulk need to source them from scattered sellers all over the city.

By having a central mega food market, people can head to one venue as it would serve as a convenient one-stop hub for buying all sorts of food, he stressed.

It is important for such food hubs to be developed in Sarawak because of the growing needs of the expanding population, he said.

Dr Chan said another advantage of setting up such mega food markets is that it would enable growers and farm-hands from rural and semi-rural districts to gather in one particular site to sell their produce.

This means that they need not sell through middlemen or sell to buyers in scattered locations.

The state government would allocate adequate land for such mega markets to be built, he said.

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