NATION

Vio Islanders Brace For Business Boost

Better business opportunities and a higher earning power are in sight for the people of Vio Island, off Lautoka Wharf. A soon-to-be installed mini grid solar system will guarantee that.
19 Mar 2018 10:31
Vio Islanders Brace For Business Boost
From left: Vio Village Community Women's members Loraini Roko, leader Sereima Ratukabu and Vilisi Nai on Vio island Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Better business opportunities and a higher earning power are in sight for the people of Vio Island, off Lautoka Wharf.

A soon-to-be installed mini grid solar system will guarantee that.

The women’s community leader on the island, Sereima Ratukabu, said this was not only convenient but also presented them with busi­ness opportunities.

“Now that we will soon have electricity this will mean that our catch from the sea can be kept and prepared properly for selling in the big markets in Nadi and Suva,” Ms Ratukabu said.

She said at times they rushed the selling of their catch and settled for much cheaper prices.

This is so because most of them don’t have access to refrigeration facilities. They have to rely on the middle-man and this meant addi­tional overheard costs.

The women of Vio often venture in to open waters to catch octopus which they sold at prices ranging from $20 to $45 per octopus.

“Because we don’t have electric­ity we have no chance of selling our catch in the bigger markets for better prices. That will all change soon,’’ Ms Ratukabu said.

Other business plans:

“We are planning to start up a business community for the wom­en in the village in order to get something running for us as well.

“At least now we can set money aside for our children, ourselves and for the village community as well.”

Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) network technical advisor Alifereti Tawake said they focused on helping communities in building and managing their re­sources.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

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