Forty-four rural producers in Guadalcanal have joined forces to discuss ways to better involve themselves in the newly formed Honiara Central Market Vendors Association as part of the UN Women Markets for Change project.
The discussions took place at the Guadalcanal Council of Women Resource Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
One Guadalcanal producer, Rhoda said rural producers need to change before they move forward.
Rhoda also said rural producers need to build relationships inside the market.
During the workshop, participants spoke about the need to raise awareness of the Honiara Central Market Vendors Association amongst their communities in Guadalcanal.
Participants also highlighted the need to build better practices and relationships between rural producers, urban market vendors and market staff.
In Solomon Islands, Markets for Change is working with Honiara City Council and Malaita Provincial Government.
Meanwhile the National Project Coordinator for the UN Women Markets for Change project in Solomon Islands, Gaylyn Puairana says rural producers who work and sell produce at Honiara Central Market face challenges that are specific to them as people from rural areas.
She said rural producers may need to travel for 2 to 4 hours on poor roads to reach the market and there is often limited space for them to sit down and sell their produce.
She also said to provide a space for rural producers to talk about their experiences is very important in terms of how everyone can work together to bring about positive changes in the marketplace.
Globally UN Women recognises that it is crucial that support and focus be given to fostering leadership and participation amongst rural women when it comes to shaping laws, policies and programmes on all issues that affect their lives.