A mango vendor from Guadalcanal says that she was fed up with all the fees and poor service at the central market, so she boarded a boat and took her produce to Auki, Malaita Province.
Ethel Matani comes from Kae village in North East Guadalcanal, she says the treatment vendors receive at the central market is shameful.
“We sell our produce on the floor, at the car parking area, and we still have to pay fees, and we argue over small space with others.
“And now during this mango season a lot of us are selling the same thing, so we have to sometimes drop our price and end up making less,” Ethel says, as she sets up her stall at the Auki market.
She says that demand for mango at the Auki market is high and she makes close to $500-$800 per day, compared to the Honiara Central market where she makes $100-$200 if she is lucky.
Ethel says that she has made three trips so far, especially now that its mango season.
“October to November is the mango season so I must make sure I make many return trips. I have made three return trips already and made maybe close to $6,000 per trip.
“I have a family and that is what motivates me to look at other options, all of my six children are in school, most in primary but some have started secondary school.
"This is the only option to make money for many of us, and we must struggle to survive,” a determined Ethel says.
She says that there is a big difference between the Auki market and the central market.
“The facilities here at the Auki market is very good, it is also very clean and we only pay a set fee of $10, not like the central market in Honiara where there are many different fees which sometimes confuse us.
“And we also have a table to display our produce, and we also sit comfortably,” Ethel said.
“It is my wish that the Guadalcanal province or our leaders build something like this for us, somewhere we can sell our produce.”