Today, our work started before the crack of dawn. And even leaving the hotel before 5:00 AM, we were well behind the normal schedule of people in Vietnam. Our task this morning was to see first-hand how meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables are distributed throughout the city of Da Nang.
We started at a wholesale market on the south side of the city. The level of activity early in the morning was astounding. Everyone was working very hard and very diligently to prepare food for purchase to other market sellers and to businesses who were purchasing their food for the day. In this model, time to market is very important – and the flavor of the food reflects this attention.
We had to arrive early – by 5:45 AM, the bustle is over . Food is already on its way to locations around the city for people to purchase, take home, and cook or store for their own use.
We also visited a local market which sells food to residents of the city. These markets are quite similar to “farmers markets” which are found all around the United States. Growers and sellers bring fresh food in from various locations and sell it the same day.
Interestingly, there are also western-style markets as well. The “Metro” mart is very similar to an american Costco or Sams Club store. And the “Big C” and “Co-op mart” are similar to large-box department stores.
In the afternoon we had our first meeting with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. This group has a very important and challenging task. They are responsible for overseeing the production and distribution methods used for all types of food which are consumed in the city of Da Nang. This includes meat, poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables. As the city grows in size, this team will be challenged even further to keep pace with the rising amount of food which is brought into Da Nang from three different sources: farms within the rural districts of Da Nang, other provinces within Vietnam, and also imported from other countries.
We are looking forward to working closely with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to help them utilize smarter planet and smarter cities capabilities in the city of Da Nang. We will be meeting with the department again in the next few days to identify areas where use of information technology can benefit the department, the city, and the people of Da Nang.