SUNBIZ

Before Villagers Had To Pay $600 To Go To Town, Now Village Has Shop

People living in isolated rural communities have come to rely greatly on small business on a daily basis. This rings true for Togalevu store, a small shop operating at Vunikodi,
23 Aug 2016 10:31
Before Villagers Had To Pay $600 To Go To Town, Now Village Has Shop
Shopkeeper Vilitati Rokoika at the Togalevu store in Vunikodi Village, Macuata. Photo: JOSAIA RALAGO

People living in isolated rural communities have come to rely greatly on small business on a daily basis. This rings true for Togalevu store, a small shop operating at Vunikodi, Udu, in the Macuata Province.

Located close to Udu Point, Vanua Levu, the villagers previously had to pay $600 for a return trip to Labasa Town for shopping.

Villagers had to pay to travel by boat to the Qaranivai landing before getting on a carrier from there to Labasa Town.

Mr Rokoika has been managing the family business for three  years now staying with his parents in the Vunikodi.

After saving enough money from the sale of Fish and vegetables from the farm, Mr Rokoika invested in opening a shop which would greatly benefit the residents of his community.

In an interview he mentioned that the shop was the only one in the area.

“We started from the basic stuff like flour, sugar, rice, tinned fish and noodles because we knew how expensive it was to get to town,” Mr Rokoika said.

He also highlighted how the company has been investing in upgrading the shop.

“Over the years, we have expanded and now our shop also sells mosquito coils, cigarette, snacks, body sprays and other items,” he said.

“At this time we are middlemen by purchasing seafood from the people and selling it.”

He said they were glad they took the initiative up as now they have witnessed how profitable and timely it was for the residents of the area.

The mata ni tikina ko Udu Maikeli Sauwaqa said small enterprises as such were strongly encouraged in the district as long as they followed the proper procedures.

“People have to pay a lot of travelling expenses and business like this is very helpful,” Mr Sauwaqa said.

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