It’s all about corn at this market in Saigon

By Quynh Tran   October 12, 2017 | 08:43 pm PT
Truckloads of corn splitting at the sides roll into this corn-lovers' paradise every day.

20 stores sitting side by side on Trinh Thi Mieng Street in Hoc Mon District open their doors from early in the morning until midnight to trade corn.


The market has no name and locals just call it the "corn market."


"This market was formed in 2002. Most vendors here used to sell their goods at Cau Muoi Market in District 1. When Cau Muoi was closed, we moved here and started in the corn business,” said a vendor named A Ly.


Owners use trucks to transport corn from the southern provinces of Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Tay Ninh.


“The market runs from early morning to late at night, and the busiest times are around noon and after 10 p.m. Each store here buys in 5-10 tons of corn per day during the harvest season, but in low season, we sometimes have nothing do to all day,” said a vendor named Hang.


The corn season runs from the New Year until September and reaches its peak in February and March. Farmers plant a new crop every three months and only stop when the rainy season hits the south during September, October and November.


Vendors at the market have to hire workers to meet the high demand. Women are hired to categorize corn while men do the hard work of loading the trucks. “These workers earn VND200,000-300,000 ($9-13) per day,” Duong, a vendor, said.


Corn is categorized into four groups. The best quality cobs are sold to retailers for VND3,500 each, while the worst are sold as animal feed.


“I sell boiled corn in Thu Duc District and I’ve been buying corn at this market every day for more than ten years. This is the biggest corn wholesale market in the city,” Vu Thi Hanh said.


Vendors do not throw away anything. They sell the husks and silk as food for dairy cows.

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