NEWS

Roadside Markets Should Be Controlled, Charge Fees: Vendor

“You see now inside this market there is hardly any customers because there are roadside markets everywhere, there is no control and it is free,” Mr Shameem said.
19 Jul 2019 16:16
Roadside Markets Should Be Controlled, Charge Fees: Vendor
Nausori market vendor Abdul Shameem (right) and his wife Zabin Bibi at their stall at Nausori market on July 17, 2019. Photos: Wati Talebula

Nausori Market vendor Abdul Shameem, 59, is concerned that roadside stalls and overnight middlemen may soon be denying them business and customers.

Mr Shameem who has been a vendor for more than 12 years said that the authority in charge also did not keep to their words about not allowing selling outside Nausori market.

“You see now inside this market there is hardly any customers because there are roadside markets everywhere, there is no control and it is free,” Mr Shameem said.

“Over the weekend people sell outside even on the footpath, yet nothing is been done about it,” he said.

“Some come with a few items, and then they also buy from suppliers to add to their selection of rootcrops, vegetables, fruits and other things.

“People who come to the market don’t even get to come inside the market.

“We are here every day following the rules, paying and suffering.

Price of Items

“We hardly make any profit, see me, I bought a sack of eggplants for $90 and have not been able to sell it.

“The eggplants have lost their colour and I am just making enough to recover cost, no profit.”

He buys a box of tomatoes between $70 and $90 depending on quality and a bag of round cabbage costs $40 a bag.

Mr Shameem pays $60 for a table as it is reserved and the other one he pays $5 a day. He pays $90 for the two tables every week.

“Then those selling on the roadside are not paying anything, it should be controlled to be fair.”

Mr Shameem and wife Zabin Bibi live at Davuilevu.

Their three daughters are married with two residing overseas and the third living in Suva with her family.

“We are on our own,” the former fisherman said.

He had also worked at a timber yard before selling at the old Nausori Market.

The couple sell eggplants, okra, French bean, round cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, dhania, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, ginger and types of chillies (small, bongo and long) on their reserved table.

On their daily hire table they sell pumpkins and sasa broom.

Location

“Here sales are very slow and frustrating most times because of how this market is located.

“There is only one crossing and comes in from the far end of the market.

“There is fence all around and when you park your car you need to walk over a small bridge to get to the market.

“It is a risk especially when it rains.

“What they need here is a lot of accessible entries like the old market.

“Those that had made plans for this new market should have swapped the bus stand with the market.

“Here we are in the bushes and so out of reach. People only come in if they need to cook up a dish, or they have someone at home that needs to eat special dishes or a magiti; otherwise there is hardly any movement in the market.

“We are doing our best to entice people to come in but the market is out of the reach.

“Old people and those who do not have time will skip the market and go to roadside ones.

“We are slowly making money but most of our vegetables go bad and we most times can’t make any profit.

He mentioned that the yet to be opened Nasinu Market located at Nepani and the proposed one at Lady Davila Road will add to the vendors’ woes.

Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj

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