Border closure leaves vendors with piles of produce

Thursday 16 September 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Economy, Local, National

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Border closure leaves vendors with piles of produce
From left, Pu Patia, Twin Matara-Ingaua, Matakeu Robati-Tarapu, and Tai Davies holding up their fresh and plentiful produce available at their market stall near Avatiu harbour, where they are based daily. 21091502

Scenes from the quiet streets of Rarotonga as borders remain closed.

The roads are quieter, the smell of sunscreen no longer hangs in the air, left behind by the tourists as they whizzed past on their scooters.

For the mamas who sit patiently and happily at their roadside market stalls, this means that their tables now overflow with produce from their gardens, with a noticeably large drop in the number of people stopping to buy from them.

Big bags of tomatoes, lettuce, bok choy, bananas and much more sit with less customers buying them. These generous ladies now have decided to give much of their surplus produce away to the community.

Twin Matara-Ingaua, who shared a space with three other ladies selling vegetables by the roadside at the Avatiu harbour, says the most recent border-closure seems to be much more difficult than the first one.

“We couldn’t predict that there would be another lockdown so we just planted heaps and now with no people on the island, there is a lot we have here,” she said. She and the other three ladies shared that they often have so much that they end up giving a lot of it away for free to people as they don’t want to take it back home or let it go to waste.

However the ladies are continuing to keep in good spirits and are enjoying the days they are living in at the moment which is allowing them to connect with more of the community and enjoy their time by the quiet and peaceful roadside.