Lautoka Market to Soon have Resource Centre for Women Vendors

Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lautoka women market vendors will soon be able to enjoy and provide better presentation of their wares and crops at the Lautoka Market. This is after the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women (UN Women) yesterday signed an agreement with the Lautoka City Special Administrator Praveen Bala, which will soon see the establishment of a Resource Centre for the women vendors at the Lautoka Municipal Market.

 

The establishment of the Market Resource Centre is aimed to assist the women vendors for training purposes and for capacity building whereby they are expected to further learn how they can enhance their earnings and provide improved services for their customers.

The women vendors will be benefitting from programmes that will be offered through the support of Government Ministries and NGO’s to address business growth opportunities, and other pertinent issues that often confront the vendors. These learning programmes will also offer the women vendors an opportunity to learn and share best practices with each other.

Apart from the Resource Centre, UN Women has also provided support towards the provision of new trestle tables and benches to accommodate women who sell outside of the market. Currently when the market facilities provided for vendors inside the market is full, vendors are often forced to sell their wares outside the market in either the rain or sun where they either sit or stand the whole day and have their produces placed on the cement without proper display tables.

However with the new tables and benches that will be provided, sales are expected to be boosted for the women vendors and they are expected to be able to conduct their business with much more ease as they can do so professionally and in comfort. This is something that the women market vendors are looking forward to according to Mrs Makereta Rika, the President of the Lautoka Market Vendors Association.

Meanwhile the Resource Centre will also provide an opportunity whereby health checks can be conducted for the vendors to assist them maintain healthy lifestyles.

Following the signing of the Agreement this morning between the UN Women Representative and Regional Programme Director for the Pacific Sub Regional Office Ms Elzira Sagynbaeva, Mr Praveen Bala commended the financial support provided by UN Women that will now enable the Lautoka City Council to improve on the facilities for women vendors in Lautoka Municipal market in particular. He shared his excitement over the project and said that LCC was looking forward to the work beginning for the construction of the Centre at the end of this month. The construction of the Centre is expected to take approximately 2 months.

Mr Bala has shared that women vendors often came as far as Wainibuka, Ra, Nadroga Navosa, Nadi and Yasawa, to sell their wares and produces at the Lautoka Municipal Market.

He concluded that the project is part of the ongoing collaborations between UN Women and the Lautoka City Council and he was optimistic that in the near future, the scope of partnership will expand.

Funding for the Partners in Market initiatives such as the Resource Centre for Lautoka Municipal Market is also being made possible through the support of the UN Women Australian National Committee.