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Saravaki feels pinch of recent cyclones

Saravaki feels pinch of recent cyclones
Lavenia Saravaki selling vegetables at Labasa market on April 23. Photo: Shratika Naidu
April 27
11:00 2018

Lavenia Saravaki is hardly making good returns from her Labasa market stall.

This is because the cost of veg­etables is high and she needs to sell at a price so that she can make a small profit.

“The recent Tropical Cyclones Josie and Keni have affected the supply of vegetables,” Mrs Saravaki said.

Originally from Waciwaci Village, Lakeba, Lau she has been residing at Siberia, Labasa soon after her marriage.

“Farms located near the river were under water during the two cyclones,” she said.

“All vegetables were destroyed and whatever little the farmers have they sold to us on a daily basis.

“They sell at higher prices and to cover cost we also sell at a higher price.

“For example, I bought rourou from a farmer for $1 bundle, I will then sell it for $2 each,” the 45-year-old mother of four chil­dren explained.

“The same goes with chauraiya, I bought them from a farmer for $2 per bundle and I will sell them at $3 each.

“And the quantity of a bundle is so small that we cannot rear­range to make extra bundles. We sell them just how we had bought them. Few years back the supply of vegetables at this time of the year used to be good but now we are struggling to at least have enough.

“Now my table is half empty including leftovers from the previous days because not many people are coming around to buy also.

“This is not only my situation; it is also faced by other vendors who buy vegetables from farm­ers too for their businesses.

“Despite such circumstances my husband, a retired employee of Fiji Sugar Corporation Labasa mill and children have re-organ­ised ourselves to survive with whatever we have.

“I have been selling for eight years and will be able to over­come such hardship.

“It is understandable that there will be ups and down in business.”

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