POETCom member, Women in Business Development Inc (WiBDI) Organic Association of Samoa, in collaboration with Skyeye Ltd, in the midst of the pandemic, successfully launched a virtual market through a mobile phone application called ‘Maua’ with the aim to link local certified organic farmers to local markets – mitigating impacts of income generation during COVID-19 border lockdowns.
The current pandemic significantly impacted economies in Samoa and across the Pacific. However, it also created opportunities for farmers to tap into and utilise online platforms to continue to sell their produce.
WiBDI Executive Director Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i, said: “The virtual market is to support our vulnerable farming families and fishers during this period of the COVID-19 state of emergency and lockdown because the usual regular markets are not available for them.”
“Many of the farmers have lost their markets and some that usually sell their products to hotels have lost out. This virtual market is significant as it brings the market right to farmers’ fingertips, digitally connecting them to their organic buyers,” she said.
Ms Tafunai added that the virtual market “also gives the Samoan local community the opportunity to order local food and produce online from our farmers and fishers and pay with mobile money.”
The virtual market continues to run monthly and the produce now sold include seafood, food cooked in earth ovens (umu) and handicrafts.