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Notwithstanding current developments in the establishment of integrated food marketing systems, the traditional forms of wholesale and retail markets remain as important components of the marketing chain from farm to consumer. Retailing, the last stage in this process, is the point at which economies achieved in the previous stages can be passed on to the consumer.

This Guide is a companion to that produced by FAO on wholesale market planning and design (FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin 90). It has been prepared to assist those engaged in the new development or improvement of rural and urban retail markets, including market managers, planners and public administrators, and engineers preparing detailed project designs. The general focus of the manual is on markets for the trading of fresh produce, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, fresh meat, fish, eggs and poultry.

The Guide addresses the entire range of issues related to market development, from initial formulation of a plan through to its implementation. Chapter I sets the framework by considering different types of rural and urban retail markets, how they operate, their likely physical and institutional deficiencies and the benefits that might be expected if these defects are remedied. This is followed by an examination of the planning context for markets: how they function and how their role within a community will vary according to whether they are located in a rural village, a small town? a suburban area or a city centre. Chapter 3 outlines a practical methodology to undertake rapid and cost-effective surveys to understand how the present retail marketing system operates and how it may be improved. It also provides basic guidelines on how to make projections of market throughput and how to use these to estimate the size of the market area and sales space and to assess what facilities should be provided in the market.

Chapters 4 and 5 are concerned with detailed design, including the preparation of market master plans, the zoning of specialised activities in the market, traffic circulation patterns, a market's relationship to adjacent uses and potential conflicts. The design of buildings and infrastructure is demonstrated by using drawings or illustrations of actual market projects, supplemented with general descriptions of the organization of market buildings, typical materials, structures and servicing arrangements. Chapter 6 outlines typical market equipment requirements.

Chapter 7 provides an outline of the management and institutional factors which need to be taken into account when developing proposals for a new market or for upgrading existing market facilities, including the application of market regulations. The Guide concludes with a chapter on the overall formulation and economic and financial analysis of a simple market project, whether it is to be funded locally by central or local government, by a private entrepreneur or financed by an outside donor.

This publication has been prepared by John Tracey-White. Technical and editorial advice has been provided by Andrew Shepherd and by other members of the Marketing and Rural Finance Service of the Agricultural Support Systems Division. The Guide draws heavily on an earlier draft prepared by Jean-Michel Ambrosino and on material prepared by Peter de Balogh. Illustrations have been provided by the author, by Jean-Michel Ambrosino, the FAO Photo Library and from published sources, the use of which is gratefully acknowledged.

A. Sawadogo
Assistant Director-General
Agriculture Department

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