ABOUT 400 vendors will benefit from the Sigatoka Market expansion project.
The construction works that began yesterday will include an overnight accommodation facility for those travelling from the hinterlands.
The project also includes an upgrade of the convenience facilities and should be completed by September later this year.
Sigatoka special administrator Jay Whyte said the $200,000 project was boosted with a further $200,000 allotment from Government's Challenge Fund, a program for municipal councils to apply for additional funding for certain projects.
"It's a clichÃ© that the markets are the lifeblood, the heartbeat of any town and that's true of Sigatoka," he said.
Acting Minister for Local Government and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum noted that apart from incentives and initiatives through the Agriculture Ministry, vendors could also be encouraged by a good environment to operate from and sell their produce well.
"Sigatoka Town itself needs to be revamped, not just the market but the entire town structure. And as we've highlighted before, during the next few weeks, we'll be putting in place more initiatives to ensure that the town grows," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.