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This Guide has been prepared to assist those engaged in improving existing retail markets or building new markets. Users of the guide may include market staff, technicians involved with detailed project design and implementation as well as urban planners and public administrators, at national, regional or local level, concerned with the planning and operation of food marketing systems. It should also be of use to those interested in the education and training of market personnel.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE?
The main aim of the Guide is to provide a simple step-by-step approach to developing markets. It concentrates on general principles governing planning and operational efficiency of rural and urban retail markets. It provides information on how to carry out surveys, prepare layouts and building designs, choose equipment and assess a project's technical and financial feasibility. It is not a guide to marketing in general, nor to the design of specialised facilities such as wholesale markets.
The Guide uses a systematic approach in which the design and formulation process that will need to be followed is broken down into a series of steps. These steps are summarised in Box 1 and developed in detail in the following chapters.
WHY SHOULD WE IMPROVE OR BUILD NEW MARKETS?
There is a natural wish to be able to purchase foodstuffs and other goods at one location and preferably under a single roof. Markets are an important component of the marketing chain from farm level to consumer. Efforts made in improving production and reducing post-harvest losses as well as investments in agricultural infrastructure, such as storage, have only a limited chance of providing benefits if the last stage in the marketing chain, retailing, is not able to pass on to the consumer the economies achieved in the previous stages.
The design process for preparing a market development project
1. FINDING OUT WHAT EXISTS
Reviewing the planning context/policies of the market and its catchment area
Collecting data on agricultural production and urban consumption
Making surveys of existing markets, retail facilities and traffic levels
2. FINDING OUT WHAT IS NEEDED
Analysing the existing throughput and market channels
Projecting future market throughput
Calculating sales space requirements and site area
Defining ancillary needs and services
Setting targets and priorities for the development
Developing a management structure and training needs
3. DESIGNING THE MARKET PROJECT
Preparing an overall master plan of the market site
Preliminary design of individual buildings and infrastructure components
Defining equipment needs
4. FORMULATING THE PROJECT
Assessing the potential benefits of the project in meeting its objectives
Preparing capital and recurrent budgets and cash flow forecasts
Calculating the project's financial and economic returns
Evaluating the legal, environmental and social impact of the project
Defining the mode of implementation, sources of finance and actions needed
5. FINALISING DESIGNS
Adjusting master plan to conform with formulation results and
Final design of individual buildings and infrastructure components
Preparation of bills of quantities and other tender documents
Effective retailing, either from shops, scattered outlets such as mobile facilities, or markets, not only improves the flow of products, but can also provide an incentive to agricultural production. The retailer is directly in contact with consumers and knows their needs. By offering consumers commodities they can afford the retailer is able to both maximise profits and increase supplies from producers.
WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE A MARKET ENVIRONMENT?
The efficient operation of retail markets is influenced by two factors. The first is the physical environment, i.e. the market premises, access, stalls, storage and equipment. Irrespective of whether it is a street market, a shop, a covered market or a mobile facility, all aspects of the development and maintenance of the physical environment have cost implications. To maximise financial returns the facility should be:
Equally important, however, is the second factor, which is the social and managerial functioning of the market. A retail market is a mechanism for distributing goods, but it is only fully effective if it enables the retailer to operate profitably and the customer to obtain products at the most advantageous prices. This presupposes that an organization exists to forge relationships between retailers and their partners (suppliers, customers, and market authorities) and that there is a level of shared knowledge on how the market should operate in order to optimise the operation of sales, storage and handling facilities.
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