BY BEN BILUA
The much-awaited Banana Valley Market opened to vendors yesterday, with the official handover soon.
Betel nut vendors mostly women raced to the market to set up stalls and also occupy space on the tables.
Manager of Gizo Market, Moffat Maeta said the new market can accommodate up to 100 vendors.
He explained that there are two tables with a total of 30 spaces, 15 spaces on each table and also tables outside of the building.
“For now, betel vendors can use the two tables while others who have their own table can use their own.
“This allocation is temporary, we are looking at proper arrangement of the market so that spaces for vegetables, cooked foods and fish market are allocated.
“For now, we give the opportunity for betel nut vendors and also vendors who want to sell cooked food.
“In the long run this market will sell everything – cooked and uncooked foods, vegetables and betel nut,” Maeta said.
He said there will be a requirement for fish sellers who want to sell their fish at Banana Valley Market.
“If you sell fish, you must make sure to use cooler, there will be no display of fish here. Reason is due to water issue.
“You must also clean the stomach of the fish before transporting the products for sell at Banana Market.”
He said market fees are similar to Gizo’s main market.
Maeta said chewing of betel nut and smoking is prohibited within the market – meaning customers can chew betel nut and smoke outside of the market to keep the area clean and healthy.
He told vendors that no tables are allowed outside of the market – meaning spaces at the front market must be cleared all the time for vehicles to park.
Maeta adds that Gizo market admin will not be responsible for vendors selling outside the market.
He said the market will open 24/7 to give more time for vendors to sell their products, but there will be a time the market will close for cleanup and also when there is a special provincial event.
“We are thankful that the province has support this project. We also acknowledge CAUSE Project for funding and constructing the market facilities,”
“I want you to take ownership of the facilities while making use of the opportunity to help your families during this challenging time,” Maeta said.