A happy day for Labasa handicraft vendor


UN Women & Fiji Ministry of Local Government

A happy day for handicraft vendor: Opening of new market extension

Mareta Tagivakatini
Mareta Tagivakatini, market representative at the new handicraft section of the new market extension in Labasa. Photo: Vilisi Veibataki/UN Women


“Today is a very happy day for us at the handicraft section because we now have our own space to sell our handicraft.”

Mareta Tagivakatini, 50, was one of many market vendors who attended the official opening of a new market extension in Labasa on Wednesday 13 January. A handicraft vendor, the extension now provides her with an undercover space to sell her mats upstairs.

The new market extension was a result of a long-term vision for a market space that would be appropriate for our selling our handicraft. Previously our handicraft were mixed with other types of market products and easily got dirty. The big difference now is that it has provided a clean space to sell our produce.”

Mareta is also a member of the Labasa Market Vendors Association representing the handicraft section. She was grateful for the new space created for the vendors that she represented.

The F$688,000 market extension was officially opened by the Hon. Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and also includes sleeping spaces for up to 20 rural women vendors, sanitation facilities, a training centre, 110 vegetable stalls and 50 handicraft stalls

It was developed and funded through a partnership between the Ministry of Local Government, UN Women and the Labasa Municipal Council.

“The Markets for Change project looks to help improve the lives of women market vendors and this event shows us just how important it is that we listen to the market vendors themselves,” she says. “This market extension not only protects women market vendors from the weather, but also provides rural vendors with safer accommodation, access to clean sanitation facilities and a space to further build their skills.”

UN Women’s Markets for Change project works with 10 market sites in Fiji. It officially launched in Fiji in April 2014 and also covers Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. It is supported by the Australian Government.


For media enquiries contact:

Kasanita Isimeli

Monitoring & Evaluation and Communications Officer

UN Women

M: 9958831; E: kasanita.isimeli@unwomen.org


Arin Kumar

Communications Officer

Ministry of Local Government

E: arin.kumar@govnet.gov.fj