A market vendor from Emua Village on the Efate Ring Road has placed a fix term deposit with her bank, bought herself a freezer to support her “fish for sale” business and is now on a tour to Fiji

to learn how the market vendors in Fiji run theirs.

The woman is a product of the market vendors’ financial literacy training organized by Markets for Change programme.

National Coordinator for Markets for Change Outcome Two Trisha Toamgera says many market vendors learn fast by “seeing and doing” which is why a women’s group from Mangaliliu went on a learning trip to Fiji to visit the farms and Nausori Market. “They learned so much about how a market operates as a real business,” she explains.

Trisha Toamgera has welcomed the Government move to help farmers by launching the ‘Fruit and Vegetable Strategy’ saying it is timely to educate ni-Vanuatu in marketing, especially towards the bigger picture of agri-tourism.

The Project’s Market for Change Outcome Two is implemented by UNDP in partnership with the National Bank of Vanuatu through the Financial Literacy Training for market vendors. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the training in agri-business and other related agri business areas to support the programme.

She says it is not just the farmers but also the transport drivers to empower the informal sector. “This is a money making sector which is not recorded as a formal contributor to the economic growth but it proves that ni Vanuatu can also contribute to the economic development of the country”, she says.

She welcomes the positive response from the National Bank of Vanuatu, Bank of the South Pacific and ANZ to recognize the importance to partner with UNDP by way of helping to free learning through financial literacy.

The National Coordinator remembers a misunderstanding by market vendors in Luganville who mistook her group to be connected to the income tax consultation group.

“The market vendors believed we were there to find out more about how much they earned from their sales in order to tax them so they ran away,” she says with a smile.

She says market vendors have their own ways of recording their earnings and are able give the correct changes to customers.

“If we look at literacy in a formal way, I think we are going to overlook what they are capable of doing. Some of them may not be able to write much but they are capable mentally,” she insists.

“The current trend where a vendor may bring her granddaughter to help her is a big plus both ways as it also teaches the young girl to learn about business from her grandmother at an early age.” READ MORE