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Increased demand for Tahitian chest nuts makes vendor happy

Behind every strong woman there is a stronger family. This rings true for Vani Vulava, 52, of Tavuya, Rewa who despite rain hail or storm has been at the Suva
19 Jan 2018 11:00
Increased demand for Tahitian chest nuts makes vendor happy
Vani Vulava at the Suva municipal market on January 17, 2018. Photo: Taraivini Seru

Behind every strong woman there is a stronger family.

This rings true for Vani Vulava, 52, of Tavuya, Rewa who despite rain hail or storm has been at the Suva market twice every week the last 10 years.

She has been regularly travelling from her village to the capital city to sell seasoned nuts, fruits, root crops and vegetables from her garden and sometimes her husband’s catch from the sea.

Her leaving the village to sell her products is one she will never regret in life as she trusts it encourages her children to work hard so they could achieve the best in life.

“I have been selling my goods at Suva market for more than ten years, my leaving the village to come here and sell at the market every week has had a positive effect impact on my children,” Mrs Vulava said.

“My husband is a fisherman, he usually goes out fishing and I usually come to the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” she said.

“This week I have been coming in to sell Tahitian chestnuts (ivi) only as they are in season now.

“When there are seasonal nuts or fruits in abundance my husband helps me in preparing them for me to sell.

“Then I do not have to sell our harvest from our gardens. My husband also takes a break from fishing to focus on his gardening during these times.”

She said selling her produce at the local market has lifted her family’s living standard.

“With the money I make from my sales, my husband and I were able to send our seven children to school and renovate our house,” she said.

“Now they are all married and have their own families,” she said.

She also highlighted that with an increase demand of Tahitian chestnuts (ivi) from customers, she has been making good sales.

“In one ten kilogram bag of flour which I pack my chestnut in, I can make a sale of $80 from selling them for $2 a heap,” she said.

Her advice to all Fijians is to make use of the resources around them.

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