Talks to regularise trade chain

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere. Picture: FT FILE

OPTIONS to regularise the qoliqoli trade chain from resource owners to the markets has already been considered by customary qoliqoli owners in Macuata.
Led by Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, the move is to ensure that the resource owners in the province who depend on the qoliqoli as a major source of income are fairly treated.
“I have already informed my people in Macuata to increase the price of their sea catch whether it be fish, seaweeds or crabs or seashells because they also need to make ends meet,” he said.
“So in regularising this trade, we hope to establish a point of selling for the various districts, for example, down the coast of Macuata, Naduri Village will be the point of sale.
“Every middleman who comes down to the coast to buy fish or seafood will need to buy from Naduri and we will be looking at their licences and other necessary documents that allows them to buy for the market.”
Such an option, Ratu Wiliame said, was fair because for the past two decades, resource owners had been paid much less compared with the income that middlemen received when selling the same product.
“We will establish in every district their strategic point of selling and we will have records of the buyers. Our resource owners need to sell in groups or in an association and not individually because this will allow them to put a standard price,” he said.
“When they sell individually, buyers and middlemen can bully them with the prices, but when they sell as a group or association, which we will do, the price is fixed.
“We need to do this to ensure that resource owners receive good income because this improves livelihood and living standard.”