Dear Editor – It has been reported via the SIBC that some forty four rural producers in Guadacanal have joined forces to better involve themselves in the newly formed Honiara Central Market Vendors Association.
The National Project Coordinator for the UN Women Markets for Change project in the Solomon Islands, Gaylyn Purairana, has reportedly said rural producers selling their products at the Honiara Central Market (HCM) face challenges in travelling 2 to 4 hours on poor roads to reach the market and then find there is often limited space for them to sell their produce.
I do hope that some solutions can be found, in cooperation with all concerned, because it is increasingly important for rural producers to be accommodated in selling their crops and garden produce.
I would encourage the potential new traders to work closely with Ms Purairana and the members of the Honiara Central Market Vendors Association to try and find early solutions, including the possibility of extending the market and looking into transport arrangements with the aid of one or more contractors willing to convey producers and their crops to market.
Cooperatives that I have seen operating in Vanuatu help in transporting produce to markets at reasonable costs
I am confident the Honiara City Council and perhaps even the Australian High Commission will be able to help ensure the HCM operates for the betterment of the rural people while serving the consumer needs of Honiara residents.