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Youths face market challenges

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, February 24, 2014

MARKETING challenges has affected business for a group of Macuata youths.

The youths of Nabiti Village in Dreketi, who depend on their farms for income, have struggled to earn good money because of marketing problems.

Sailosi Tunia, a youth member said they had big farms of dalo and yaqona but feared uprooting every week because of marketing problems.

"Most of us have returned home from tertiary education and have not completed it because of financial problems," he said.

"When we return to the village, we farm so we can earn money to pay for our school fees at tertiary level and complete our studies.

"But it is a different situation because we can't even find a consistent market."

Mr Tunia said the youths had to travel to Labasa paying carrier fare of $130 one way to sell their crops at the market.

"Sometimes when we get to Labasa, no one buys our produce because the vendors have enough supply.

"So when this happens, we pray that our grog is bought to help us with some cash. Sometimes the vendors buy it but there are times when we can't even sell our produce because vendors have full stock.

"The youths major challenge is finding consistent market to buy our produce so we can save for our tuition fees."

Mr Tunia said youths had adopted a new strategy to avoid disappointment at markets.

"We only uproot our yaqona and root crops when the order comes or when some vendors order from the market.

"It is safer and cheaper for us because we don't waste money on carrier fares and don't get anything in return when we get to the market."

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