More Fijians receive roadside stalls

Fiji's Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya with lease recipients. Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI GOVT

Twenty Fijians around Navua received lease agreements under the Fijian Government’s Roadside Stalls initiative yesterday.

The lease agreements, handed over by the Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya – 18 in Vakabalea, one in Wainadoi and one in Naboro Village – will not only benefit 20 Fijians who solely depend on selling fruits and vegetables as a source of income – but their families.

Roadside vending in Fiji has long played a crucial role as a source of jobs, revenue and value addition to the local economy – providing a flexible link in the economic supply chains.

The standardised roadside stalls are permanent fixtures that contribute to connecting subsistence farmers to commuters along the Queens Highway, while ensuring safe and hygiene storefronts.

During the pilot phase of this initiative in 2018, the Prime Minister handed over 20 semi-permanent stalls and 10 portable vendor stalls, highlighting this was just the beginning of a program expected to grow every year.

Adi Kelera Vudiniabola, whose lease agreement was renewed for another two years, thanked the Fijian Government for providing a conducive shelter and space to sell her fruits and vegetables.

Vinaka vakalevu to the Government, and for this lovely day. Thank you to the ministry for coming back to Vakabalea and renewing my agreement. I’ve been living here for almost 30 years and selling along the road for almost 10 years,” said Ms Vudiniabola.

“We have more customers and we even get tourists stopping by. Some of the tourists just come and admire the stall,” added Ms Vudiniabola.

The Fijian Government, through the Standardised Roadside Stalls initiative, is giving Fijians means to sell fresh produce outside non-municipal boundaries and rural settlements.

The Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport invites Fijian businesses, interested organisations and individuals to enter into a Public–Private Partnership to sponsor a roadside stall that contributes to the development of the grassroot entrepreneurs.

The ministry anticipates handing over 71 additional lease agreements around Fiji.

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