Produce markets are active throughout the year as farmers bring in different types of commodities within seasons. The supply chain is, at any given time, expected to meet the matching demand which is anchored by the middlemen produce market trader. Most customers buy from traders.
The main customers include households, vendors, travellers, residential market stall owners, food chain stores and transporters. In times of shortage, traders resort to importing some commodities like oranges, onion and apples that are no longer locally produced in sufficient quantities.
Evidence from urban produce markets like Mbare (Harare), eMalaleni (Bulawayo), Garikai (Masvingo) and Sakubva (Mutare) has shown the great need for short term loans (7 days to 6 months) for traders to ensure supply consistency and commodity price stability for the benefit of the farmer