WOMEN vendors at the Labasa Market were all hyped up as they embraced the presence of the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni yesterday.
Dr Luveni and senior government officials were greeted with typical Friendly North smiles.
She visited the public convenience, food stalls and restaurants in town and encouraged the vendors to increase their market production and work hard to improve their standard of living.
"Most of you depend on this business for your family's livelihood and it's best you commit yourself to it and increase your production," she said.
Labasa Town special administrator Vijay Chand said most of the women were touched by the minister's visit because they could not believe she had time to meet them personally. "Her presence is really a motivating factor to most women here and I hope they will all stand up and be part of developments to move our country forward," he said.
"She is also here to support positive plans that will benefit women in the region."
Vendor Nanise Irena Ceyaqalo said she was happy Dr Luveni had time to chat with her and discuss ideas to expand her yaqona business.