WIBDI market night to remember - SAMOA PLANET

7 December, 2017. Samoa – Samoan honey, extra sweet misiluki jam, avocados, maukegi, mangoes, passion fruit, hot fresh-brewed koko Samoa and koko Samoa packed and ready-to-go — were among the organic goods and feast at the final WBDI Night Market of 2017.

The Organic Night Market is an event of Women in Business Development, Inc., a showcase of food, organic produce and handicrafts held twice a month.

Honey from local beehives is the newest addition to WIBDI’s range of organic products that includes coconut oil which supplies the worldwide Body Shop chain.

“The beehives are new,” WIBDI Senior Officer Anitelea Atonio told Samoa Planet. “Our Night Market is held twice a month and this is the last one for the year. This program is a great help to our people to help take care of our families. You learn a lot in this program.”

Atonio, 25, of Faleula, is assigned a wide range of duties that includes providing transportation for farmers and their produce to and from market. He also collects coconut oil, koko beans and dried bananas for testing, packaging, distribution and export by WIBDI.

In September, he traveled to  China for a week of training about bees, beehives and honey.

“We’ve been doing honey for about four months now,” Anitelea said. “I went to China to learn all about honey. I work with beehives for honey, I collect the honey and I’m a farmer. For my project I’m growing vanilla.”

At Wednesday’s Night Market, Atonio and his coworker Faafetai Faletoa were looking after the goods of a Faleasi’u family, avocados, bok choi and papayas. The family did not make it to the market but their produce did.

“My job is packaging soap,” said Faletoa of Lufilufi. “I package fetau soap, coconut soap, I make labels for the coconut oil, the koko Samoa, the Banana Bites (dried bananas) and for the honey. I like my job.”

Mangoes from Faleula were a hit at the Night Market.

Farmer Tolo Tiale said her mangoes were going for a special price. Usually sold for $2/$3 each, they were going for $1 apiece Wednesday night.

“These mangoes, these apple mangoes are in season around Lotu Tamaiti (October) and close to  Christmas time,” Tiale said. “This is how I take care of my parents, my children, my family.”

She also sells passion fruit, fresh coconuts, popo, soursap, taro and koko Samoa.

“We have more than 10 mango trees but we only planted two,” explained Rosemarie Siaosi Tuimauga, Tiale’s business partner. “This is a good program. They supply us with clients, we get orders from restaurants and hotels. It’s good help. We also provided for the SIDS conference.”

Tiale and Tuimauga sell produce at the Fugalei market every Saturday.

“I go every Saturday. I’m at the market sometimes during the week but I never miss a Saturday,” Tiale said.

Umu, handwoven fans, keychain carvings, lopa necklaces, Turkish bread with olives and jams made from papaya, ripe misiluki and soursap were also available at the Night Market.

“We’re collecting oil for Body Shop global, we have our dried bananas that go to New Zealand…we’re collecting koko and koko beans at the moment,” said Sue-Ellen Shaw, a WIBDI volunteer. “We have hotel deliveries…we deliver organic produce to six hotels in our table-to-farm project. We’re doing lots of really good things.”

Source: Samoa Planet

Posted: Mon 11 Dec 2017