Thriving business

Vendors of the Kasavu Freshwater Mussels Market. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

FOR Ateca Raivukici, selling mussels (kai) at Kasavu has long been a source of income for her family for the past 15 years. Ms Raivukici, who is part of more than 15 women selling kai at the Kasavu Fresh Water Mussel Market just outside Nausori, said the business had thrived over the years.

As a mother of three, life is not always easy but Ms Raivukici has put her heart and soul into her business and as a result of her hard work and support from her husband, has managed to meet the family needs.

“Over the past years, this kai business has been a big help to us especially for us ladies here in terms of village functions, school and the church,” Ms Raivukici said.

“The money we earn from the sale depends on the amount of kai we catch.

“We can earn about $100 a day. When the tide is low, we women go out and catch the kai. Whether it is morning, midday or evening, we go out and catch.

“Since I have been selling, the supply of kai has been increasing.

“This dry spell currently affecting the whole country has really boosted our sales. People enjoy eating kai during hot weather.

“We sell here six days in a week but sometimes when customers come on Sunday, they normally come down to Kasavu Village and buy it from us there. One heap costs $5 with a bag costing $10. Some bags sell up to $30.”

Her message to the women who want to be self-sufficient and run a small business was that they could make money from raw materials from the environment.