By Bulawayo Correspondent
GREEN maize cobs have flooded the market in Bulawayo forcing traditional traders out of business.
Demand for green mealies in urban markets has been on the increase because of immense health benefits owing to the high fibre content in the green mealies as opposed to the processed maize meal.
Many consumers these days are now surviving on roasting maize in the central business district and along major roadside ways.
However, green mealies vendors who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com complained that business was no longer viable because the market was now flooded since a lot of farmers planted maize this summer farming season.
“Last year, around August and September, I used to sell two cobs of fresh maize for US$1. These days, six or even eight cobs are now being sold for the same amount because the product is in abundance. I would rather keep dried maize than just than selling my crop at ridiculous prices,” said Moses Choto, a farmer in Reigate area.
A roasted maize vendor who operates at the corner Six Avenue and George Silundika, Trymore Ndlovu said his daily sales had drastically reduced since mid- February when a lot of farmers started harvesting their crop.
“I used to earn an average of US$20 per day, but now these days, business is subdued because almost every household especially in high density suburbs has a small maize field. The surrounding commercial farmers are also bringing lots of the mealies to the market,” said Ndlovu.
NewZimbabwe.com news crew Sunday witnessed some vendors dumping rotten green maize cobs at the vegetable market.
“Last week, I brought a tonne of green maize from Gweru with the intention of selling the fresh cobs here in Bulawayo. Normally, there is good business for green maize cobs in the city, but this time around, I incurred a big loss. I ended up disposing some of mealies free of charge because they became stale,” said the green maize dealer who refused to be named.