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Vendor Overcomes Culture Shock to Earn a Living

Selling vegetables at the market is a good way to earn a living, says Mrs Sisilia Ratu. Forty-nine-year-old Mrs Ratu has been selling vegetables and root crops at the Suva
21 Sep 2018 11:00
Vendor Overcomes Culture Shock to Earn a Living
Sisilia Ratu with her produce at Suva market on September 17, 2018. Photos: Taraivini Seru

Selling vegetables at the market is a good way to earn a living, says Mrs Sisilia Ratu.

Forty-nine-year-old Mrs Ratu has been selling vegetables and root crops at the Suva Municipal Market the past seven years.

“I sell my produce with pride in order to earn a living,” Mrs Ratu said.

Originally from Somosomo Village in the well-known garden island of Fiji, Taveuni Mrs Ratu is married to Asiveli Ratu, 53, of Luvunavuaka, Dawasamu in the province of Tailevu.

“Leaving my island home after getting married, with little knowledge of business is a challenge,” she said.

“Moving to Viti Levu was a culture shock at first but after settling in with the support of my husband, I managed to adapt to the change,” she said.

The couple settled at Luvunavuaka, they managed to allocate themselves one-acre land to plant vegetables and root crops.

“It took us more than a year to work in the field in order to meet our target as farmers, in order to sell our produce to the market,” she said.

“We always believe proper planning and managing time well is a way forward to success.”

From their farm, she supplied eggplants, oranges, french beans, cucumber, tomatoes, ginger, cabbage, chillies, pumpkin, vudi and tavioka to their clients.

“I used to get more than a $100 per week. Weather determines how much we can sell,” she said.

“Whenever I come to the market I am happy to meet new people when they come to my table to buy fruits and vegetables.

“Moreover, I get to walk around and keep myself healthy and at the same time keep my family happy when I take home some money.

“My advice to those who are still trying to figure out what to do in life, they have to engage themselves with farming and if possible sell and try to earn a living.”

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