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THE absence of an inter-island ferry service to Rabi is a matter of concern for the people.
This was relayed to The Fiji Times by Rabi Council of Leaders vice-chair Bineati Sigrah who said the problem created difficulties for the villagers.
He said farmers and shopowners incurred more expenses by buying from supermarkets in Labasa and Savusavu because of higher travelling costs. "The women are engaged in virgin coconut oil production and they would like to increase production," Mr Sigrah said.
"However, they need to have direct transportation from the island to Suva where distribution to their clients is easier.
"Some farmers who are engaged in rootcrop farming also would find it easier accessing the market in Suva."
Mr Sigrah said a villager spent as much as $70 on outboard-engine boat to Karoko Landing in Buca Bay and $7 in bus fare to Savusavu. "People operating shops on Rabi find it easier if goods were shipped directly to the island instead of buying from a supermarket," he said.
Mr Sigrah said while the construction of a wharf is underway, a ferry service to Rabi would be much appreciated.