Upgraded Section For Flower Vendors

The veteran flower seller, who is only open for business three times a week, is capable of earning $400 in a single day. 
05 Jul 2023 13:02
Upgraded Section For Flower Vendors
Suva Municipal Market vendor Penaia Ratabacaca 30, in front of the upgraded flower section of the market on July 4, 2023. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Before the Ministry of Local Government stepped in to develop the flower section of the Suva Municipal Market, vendors were constantly exposed to the elements and the dangers of a busy roadway. 

“When it rains, we’d get wet and have to move to the veranda,” Rosana Biu, who has been selling flowers at the market for 30 years, said.

Now the $30,000 upgrades have produced a space that is better equipped to support the safety and wellbeing of vendors. 

The average vendor buys and sells flowers sourced from third-party growers. Others, however, do things a little differently. 

“I plant my flowers,” Ms Biu said. 

She said customers see the range of her my bouquets, and the variety of orchids she sells. 

The veteran flower seller, who is only open for business three times a week, is capable of earning $400 in a single day. 

Ms Biu also does special orders for other vendors who request them from her. 


The flower section facility was opened by the Minister of Local Government, Maciu Katamotu. 

President of the Flower Vendors Association, Alevina Naitarakete said, “Fourteen years of setting up here with my sisters, this has been the biggest change for us because compared to the setting back then and now, we feel cared for, we are seen and for this we are thankful to the Government.”

One of the vendors was 30-year-old Tauba Creation creator, Penaia Ratabacaca. 

“I have been setting up here for 15 years now, and one of the many things I remember so fondly about this place is my aunt. Her drive towards trying to get flower vendors a place to set up has been one of the highlights of my journey of selling flowers,” he said. 

“Not only did I learn flower arrangement from the Philippines, I’ve also had the chance to work in hotels and resorts around Fiji and that has played a big role in masterminding this talent.” 


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