The Honiara Central Market is the hub of market activities for farmers and resellers. Thousands of Honiara residents frequent the market daily for their grocery.
For Fred Kake, he frequents the Honiara Central Market as a vendor. The Honiara Central Market becomes his office.
“I used to work for a logging camp at Aola”, Kake says.
For 11 years, Kake’s life was spent at the logging camps. He says as an employee he did not earn much as he is earning now.
Just two years into the water melon business, he was able to buy a vehicle, pay for his children’s school fees and support some of his extended family members.
He came to realize that being a farmer is the best choice he made. He is now well known at the market for his big watermelons.
“I farm mostly watermelons. Potato and cucumber are substitutes for when I am yet to harvest my watermelons”, Kake says.
His main lucrative income came from watermelons.
He says in the past he normally relied on public transport to bring his watermelons to the market.
“I usually spend $1000 to hire a vehicle”, he says.
After buying his own vehicle, Kake now only spends money on fuel to bring his produce to the market.
With the support from his wife, Kake has been able to reach this far. He says he is happy to call the central market a place where one can earn thousands of dollars through their labor and struggles.
“I see that selling watermelons is a million dollar business for me because within two days, I have earned more than what I earn working for a company within the same timeframe”.
Kake says he does not usually come to the market.
“Only three time in a month but I’m satisfied with what I earned. This motivates me to keep the good work I do in farming,” Kake explained.
Kake is 48 years old and his village is in Tathiboko, North East of Guadalcanal. It takes him less than an hour to get to the market as Tathiboko is only 40 to 50 kilometers away from Honiara.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some changes. With the measures and restrictions, I have slowed down a bit. Luckily the restriction does not really affect those of us selling fruits so I am fortunate to continue supporting my family”, Kake muses.
He says his family has also saved money for emergency purposes.
“I make sure that my NPF money is solely set aside for emergency purposes only. We have not used the $5000 assistance from NPF yet”, Kake says.
He says at this time of crisis, his family is grateful that they are still able to sell their produce at the Honiara Central Market.