Food Coalition

Transforming fresh markets in the Asia and Pacific region

Fresh markets in the Asia and Pacific region are important for daily fresh foods, like vegetables, fruit, and dairy products, as well as fresh meat, fish and seafood. They are a source of livelihoods and of food security and nutrition to millions in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the rapid expansion of various franchised supermarket chains in the region, such markets’ popularity rests in the perceived freshness and competitive pricing of the products that provide a ready source of varied foods that are rich in protein as well as essential micronutrients like iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin B12, thus promoting healthy diets for women and children. However, fresh markets, when not managed properly, can pose serious health risks to the population they serve.  This is because the congregation of people, the presence of live animals, the proximity of animal origin and plant origin food, the lack of adequate facilities and poor sanitation conditions can create favourable conditions for spread of diseases and entry of contaminants in food rendering it unsafe. Often, authorities close down these markets as a result of a food safety incident or the spread of disease as has happened in case of COVID-19. This could temporarily halt the health threat but such measures only address the symptom but not the cause. It also restricts the access of millions of people to fresh nutritious foods and incomes, increasing the risk of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

Priority Areas of work: Food Systems Transformation
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 5. Gender Equality, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10. Reduced Inequality, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 13. Climate Action, 15. Life on Land, 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Level: Regional
Region: Asia and the Pacific
Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Tonga
Budget: USD 30 million

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