The markets are again in quarantine: have you thought of hundreds of thousands of small traders?



The markets are again in quarantine: have you thought of hundreds of thousands of small traders?

The bazaar is the reason why, and unlike everyone else, the Ukrainians survived at all times. Ukraine will not be able to do without a bazaar for a long time

Ukraine’s chief medical officer of health Viktor Lyashko has decided to rescind his own decree which, under certain conditions, allowed the markets to operate during quarantine: “From April 14, my decree setting the conditions for the opening of markets will be considered invalid. We will not work with this, there is no common sense – as well as with access to the temples. Why do we think it will last, ”said Lyashko.

According to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, permission to operate markets has been introduced so that Ukrainians have access to cheaper products than in stores, but … a number of violations and abuses have been revealed who forced him to quash the decision.

“Although it was made clear when it was possible to find out how market management should provide visitors and workers in the market with personal protective equipment, we have enormous violations, unsanitary conditions,” summed up. Lyashko.

The network’s reaction to the statement on the closure of the markets was not long in coming

“We have received no decree, no decision to close the markets. We have no information other than a statement from Viktor Lyashko,” said Galina Slychna, head of the operational headquarters in Lviv. And she added that when the city decided whether or not to allow the markets to operate, it consulted the infectious disease specialists: “The infectists told us that, on the contrary, it is safer to buy on the market, because there are an open space, natural access to air. Of course, there must be certain conditions. We then decided to allow the markets to operate and developed clear rules for meeting health standards, prescribed the distance, the availability of personal protective equipment, number of visitors (…) However, the city will make a decision based on the decision that the State will take. ”

They write on the net and others … “The facts of market violations should be published. As for the supermarket chains, we will publish violations – entrepreneurs, whom you, Mr. Lyashko, have left without work,” said Boris Emeldesh, president of the Ukrainian Professional Association of Entrepreneurs. “Did you find a violation somewhere?” Well, post them, act. But what do all the markets have to do with this? Or Do you think people will work during their forties because there is nothing to do? No, they will work because their families want to eat every day, “complains Odessa activist Sergei Goncharuk.

We can, of course, support or not support the decision to close the markets. However, it must be understood that the market, nationally, is the backbone of the underground economy. If in a positive sense (and it is here), that is why Ukraine has always survived. This has happened more than once in history. And what will happen this time, which path to choose: take advantage of the situation and suppress the underground economy as much as possible or not prevent it from helping Ukrainians to survive again? Today the market is not just a place where thousands of small entrepreneurs sell cheese, milk, sausage, bread, vegetables and fruit, but hundreds of thousands of jobs. What should they do in such a difficult situation? And finally, the garden season begins. If the market is closed, then where to find plants, seeds, plant protection products, equipment and more? Sure, there are a lot of specialty stores on the Internet where you can buy everything you need online, but … First, most people are used to doing it in bazaars, and second, everything the world has no gadgets with internet access, but the elderly and even more. How to solve it?

Ukrinform asked these questions to economists.

Small spoiler: there is not unanimity in the answers.

Alexey Doroshenko, Director of the Ukrainian Association of Distribution System Providers:

The markets are again in quarantine: have you thought of hundreds of thousands of small traders?

Alexey Doroshenko

“Bazaars” must look for an alternative, just like cucumber and greenhouse tomato producers “

– First, I note that the Chief Medical Officer of State can neither close nor open the markets. It only regulates certain conditions. Today, this issue is the responsibility of local authorities. They will give the green light or not.

The markets represent around 60% of the retail turnover of products on average in the country. But in many regions where there are no large retail chains, the market can yield 80% of sales. My position during all this time has been that the opening of the markets stabilizes prices. But talking to a lot of people, including acting Head of the regional administration of the Kiev region, I heard that the markets operate without respecting restrictions on the distance between points of sale and customers, without monitoring the availability of personal protective equipment, and also without restrictions on the sale of bulk products. And since Easter is a time to visit the markets, it has become clear that if the market owners are not ready to work in an emergency, they are forced to close.

Three weeks ago, it was much more difficult. Due to the high demand, the stores were not ready for such a volume of sales – there were problems, a shortage. But today, stores and chains are ready for existing demand. In addition, demand decreases every week due to a decrease in people’s savings and due to stocks already built up. Therefore, the markets will not work until April 24, and it will be clear there how the situation with the spread of the coronavirus develops.

Of course, this does not apply to all regions without exception. For example, there are such district centers or cities where small stores can serve a maximum of five people online (more simply cannot fit in the room). Therefore, where there are no large retail chains, it will be really difficult. But somehow we survive this period. Especially since many people today produce and buy food independently. In other words, trade can continue between people themselves, not through the market.

As for the underground economy, it is a reaction of Ukrainian society, from business to certain living conditions. Whatever you do, no matter how you delete it, but the anti-alcohol society, as in the Union, will end up in nothing. Just as it did not end in the United States 100 years ago. If there are conditions, and those conditions actually support through different things – habits, purchasing power, etc. – “underground economy” of our markets … It is only the reaction. Only an increase in the standard of living will cause the bazaars to close by themselves.

What should small entrepreneurs do? I have a counter question: if the traders are so worried about their jobs, if they knew that the market gives them the possibility to sell what they produce, then why could they not guarantee, with the administrations of the the market, the minimum conditions for quarantine trade? I repeat that I am for the opening of the markets, but … Today, most Ukrainians support strict restrictions. Therefore, we are actually reacting not only to what the government or the president wants to do, but also to the demands of society. Alternatively, other sales channels can be sought. In Kiev, for example, in the streets, at the entrances of houses, announcements are often heard by loudspeaker: “We sell potatoes, onions, carrots (…) we deliver to the door”. People are looking for … For example, greenhouse cucumber and tomato producers have entered retail chains with the volumes that allow them to sell products. Of course, it is not very profitable for the price, but now they have the choice: either throw it away or change the conditions of sale. Tell me, if the greenhouses were able to do this, then why not the others? ..

Finally, where to find plants, seeds, plant protection products, equipment and the like? The restrictions on the sale of everything you need for gardening and vegetables were not and never will be. Of course, if the markets close, then someone will not be able to sell seeds, fertilizers and the like. But the stores that sell it will sell.

Andrei Yarmak, Economist, Department of Investment, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

The markets are again in quarantine: have you thought of hundreds of thousands of small traders?

Andrey Yarmak

“The refusal is very simple. It is more difficult to do something to ensure the necessary conditions and the safety of people ”

– It is not a ghost economy, but rather a market economy. And it is only because the government has created precisely such conditions. For example, the UPPOA (Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association) has long proposed to the government to consider the possibility of reducing VAT on fruit and vegetables (there are similar proposals for dairy products) in order to transfer this trade to the legal plan. In addition, the UPRA and the BAP have long called for the adoption of a beautiful and modern law on agricultural cooperation, which has been prepared jointly with the FAO, the EBRD and the best international experts, but BP cannot in any way case accept it. Therefore, we have such a picture.

The bazaar is not only a job – it is also the access of Ukrainians to fresh berries, vegetables and fruits. After all, local products, especially perishables (like berries), are almost all sold in bazaars. And now it’s already very bad for the state if we close this sales channel. The bazaar now feeds millions of people who do not ask the state for money. It also gives access to vitamin products to millions of city dwellers.

So it turns out that now these people who grow berries and vegetables with fruit will go with their hands outstretched to the state, and city dwellers will have more difficult access to important immune products. Nothing can be done quickly because supermarkets cannot physically buy these products from many small suppliers. Also, they can sell what can be stored for a long time, but berries, for example, don’t really know how to sell and don’t really like it. In addition, it will not be possible to quickly create cooperatives, and especially now when it is impossible to meet and you need an infrastructure that costs millions. Finally, you don’t go online either, because it’s also retail, and there too you need investments in everything, including and logistics.

Therefore, the government must do everything possible to guarantee the possibility of civilized trade in bazaars, since trade will take place in spontaneous markets. And this is already happening, say, in the south of the Kherson region, judging by the fact that the farmers are sending me. In addition, when the season begins (and it already begins) with the first vegetables and berries, the population, both rural and urban, despite their quarantine, will actively express their dissatisfaction with the actions of the government. And nobody needs it anymore. The refusal is very simple. It is more difficult to do something to ensure the necessary conditions and the safety of people. And so we will have neither security nor money. And worse still – we will destroy production and next year we will be left without vegetables, berries and fruit from a small producer.

Miroslav Liskovich. Kiev

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