Lautafi Purcell, Minister of State Owned Enterprises cutting the ribbon to open the new market
By Tulifau Auvaa
APIA: MONDAY 18 AUGUST 2014: The $10 million tala Food and Produce Market at Fugalei was dedicated this morning by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi who gave an overview of the work and Lautafi Purcell, Minister of State Owned Enterprises cut the ribbon to open it.
“This new market is two times larger than the old one,” said Tuilaepa.
He said it was spacious for farmers only to sell their crops and produce. However, there will be no more small shops around the market as in the old one and no one will be allowed to sell produce outside the market.
“Everything should be sold from inside the market,” said Tuilaepa.
According to Tuilaepa, the market was supposed to be two stories at a cost of $42 million. However Cabinet opted for the second plan of a one storey building at a cost of $10 million.
The market was built by the Qing Dao Construction from China, Rasmussen Construction Company, Silva Transport and Bluebird Construction Ltd.
A Police station post will be located in the market.
The market drew a lot of criticism when the old one was pulled down leaving farmers with no place to sell their produce. Government tried to force farmers to use the other market at Vaitele which does not have the same traffic as the Fugalei location. This prompted development saw the emergence of privately owned markets which will now compete directly with the government owned one.
There are also concerns around the project cost as a lot of money had been paid when the original two storey design was changed to the single level building.