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Promotion of public-private dialogue to maintain poor-friendly fruit and vegetable street vending in Hanoi

Moustier P., Nguyen Thi Tan Loc, Ho Thanh Son, Hoang Bang An. 2008. In : Batt Peter J. (ed.). Proceedings of the Second International symposium on improving the performance of supply chains in the transitional economies, Hanoi, Vietnam, September 23-27, 2007. Louvain : ISHS [Belgique], p. 239-246. (Acta Horticulturae, 794). International Symposium on Improving the Performance of Supply Chains in the Transitional Economies. 2, 2007-09-23/2007-09-27, Hanoi (Viet Nam).

In Vietnam, the marketing of fruits and vegetables is characterised by a diversity of distribution chains, including formal markets, street vendors, shops and supermarkets. The government is promoting the expansion of supermarket distribution and was planning to eliminate all informal trade at the time of research. Yet, the experience of other countries shows the role of urban informal trade as a provider of employment for the poor. In some other countries street vending has been successfully integrated into urban planning thanks to the organisation of street vendors and dialogue with authorities. Research was carried out in Vietnam to test whether such integration is possible given the local economic, social and political context. The evaluation of the role of street vendors in employment and food distribution was based on a census of fruit and vegetable street vendors in selected Hanoi districts, in-depth interviews of a panel of street vendors and review of experiences in other countries. This led to a discussion paper on the advantages and constraints of street vendors and recommendations to support this business. The discussion paper was the basis of dialogue between authorities in Hanoi, a panel and street vendors and researchers. Among the main results is demonstration of the dominant role of street vending for fruit and vegetable distribution and the limited alternative employment opportunities for the peri-urban farmers involved in these activities. Street vending indeed poses some problems in terms of control of hygiene and traffic fluidity. The stakeholders¿ workshops helped the Hanoi authorities agree to a restricted tolerance of street vendors in selected areas, with the setting of concerted rules on public-private rights and responsibilities.

Mots-clés : fruits; légume; viet nam

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