Main Food Markets | Satellite Markets​

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Suva Municipal Market | Image: Lonely Planet)

The fruit and vegetable markets are normally the central social hub for Fijians, a place where the smiling, friendly locals sell their produce. The main municipal markets can be easily found, as they are normally located adjacent to the main bus stations. This is to allow the majority of goods to come fresh from the countryside every day.  These bustling arenas have rows and rows of tables laden with delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables, with the markets bursting at their seams and extending outside.  So if you wish to get immersed in the daily sights and sounds of the locals,…

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Suva Market


Suva City Market
Suva City Market

The cosmopolitan nature of Suva and her people is perhaps nowhere better exemplified than in the marketplace. Men and women from nearly all segments of Fiji’s multiracial population gather here to offer their various wares to the public. Like marketplaces everywhere in the world, the spread-through atmosphere is one of the most lively and energetic with enthusiasm and cheerfulness, along with bargaining and negotiating, both good-natured and otherwise, the order of the day.

Shoppers with time and patience can usually find what they are looking for at just the price they feel is reasonable, for competition among merchants is always lively.  Products available in the markets in Suva vary according to the clientele to which they cater. The market and the mini-markets offer a wide selection of fresh, sun-ripened fruits as well as taro (dalo) and cassava (tavioka), and other vegetables with a variety of seafood more familiar to visitors in Western countries.

The markets are not only Suva’s major fresh food supplier, it is also a means of livelihood for thousands of people and a celebration – a six-day fair for those that use the market daily.

Mini Market

With the demand from our community within Suva City, the Council provided for mini-markets to cater to the daily needs of the community and its visitors.  These mini-markets are within walking distance of the residents of Suva.

There are five Mini markets within Suva City:

  • Nabua Mini market
  • Bailey Bridge Mini market
  • Flagstaff Mini market
  • Raiwaqa Market
  • Kaukimoce Mini market

Lautoka City Municipal Market


Overhead view of Lautoka Main Market, bright-coloured fruits ad vegetables covering the market stalls.
Lautoka Main Market | Image: Lautoka Council

The Lautoka City Municipal Market caters to vendors, farmers, and wholesalers from all regions of Viti levu. The market has an exotic blend of fresh local and imported fruits, vegetables, spices and root crops, handicrafts, and sweet sellers, selling fresh seafood and kai. The market also houses a Fishermen’s market where a wide variety of fish can be found.

The Market is a “One Stop Shop” near the Supermarket, Bus Station, Taxi Stand, and Carries stand, Wheel Borrow Boys are there to assist customers and Parking space at the Mall. Can move freely as the Police Post is within the Market Space and the Market has CCTV. Main Market Opening Times | Monday – Friday 7 am – 5:30 pm | Saturday 6:00 am -4:00 pm

Mini Market (Tavakubu)


Opening Celebration of the Mini Market Tavakubu
Opening Celebration of the Mini Market Tavakubu | Image: Supplied

Lautoka City Council also owns and operates a mini-market outside the CBD, located at the junction of Tavakubu Road and Sukanaivalu Road. This market is known as the Tavakubu Satellite Market and was constructed in 2017. Tavakubu Satellite Market has 34 stalls and has opening hours as followsMon-Sun: 07:00 – 17:00 Hours.

BananasBilimbi FruitBok ChoyBreadfruit
BananasBilimbi FruitBok ChoyBreadfruit
BroccoliCabbageCauliflowerCassava 1
BroccoliCabbageCauliflowerCassava
CapsicumCarrotChillisCocoa
CapsicumCarrotsChilli’sCocoa pod
CowpeasCucumberDaloDaruka in Fiji
CowpeasCucumberDaloDaruka
French BeansGooseberriesGranadillaGuava
French BeansGooseberriesGranadillaGuava
Jack FruitKavika.KumalaLettuce
Jack FruitKavikaKumalaLettuce
Long Beansmango mangifera indica against white background transformedMelonsMung Beans
Long BeansMangoMelonsMung Beans
OkraPassionfruit FijiPeanutsPigeon Pea
OkraPassion FruitPeanutsPigeon Pea
PineapplePlantainRiceSoursop
PineapplePlantainRiceSoursop
YamsTaroTurmericVanilla.
Sweet PotatoTaroTurmericVanilla pods
Wild Coffeeyams.zucchini 1Avacado
Wild CoffeeYam RootsZucchiniAvacado
Table: Standard Fijian Crops
Cassava 1TaroYamsyams.
CassavaTaroSweet PotatoYam Roots
Table: Staple root crops of Fiji

Fijians, along with most other Pacific Islanders, have never been cultivators of cereals like potatoes, rice, sago, or any of the other staple foods. The bread and butter of the fertile islands of Fiji have been and continue to be a small selection of tropical foods, including fruits such as breadfruits and cooking bananas, as well as root crops, of which the most important are yams and taro. These have recently been supplemented by some introduced root crops, notably sweet potatoes and tapioca, or manioc.

Tavioka

Tavioka (tapioca, manioc, and CASSAVA) is a native of Central and South America and was introduced to Fiji in the mid-nineteenth century by Catholic priests. At first, it was considered an inferior root crop, suitable only for pig fodder, but eventually, Fijians developed a taste for it, not to mention a liking for its ease of planting and rapid maturity, so that now it is probably Fiji’s favorite food, though experts warn that it is of very low nutritional value. In some parts of Fiji, especially the eastern islands of Lau, the leaves are also eaten after being suitably treated to remove the poison in them.

Dalo, Colocasia esculenta

Dalo (better known in English by its Polynesian name, TARO) has a tasty but unremarkable-looking tuber that is crowned by a bunch of large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves that give a luscious green hue to any dalo plantation. Dalo is very versatile but grows best in swampy conditions or where there is very high rainfall. The young leaves are also eaten as green vegetables, often with coconut cream, and are highly nutritious. Dalo is often pounded and made into a kind of sweet pudding with caramelized coconut cream. Fijians and other Pacific islanders who have migrated to New Zealand, Australia, and North America still yearn for their dalo, so much so that it has now become an important export crop.

Kumala (Ipomea batatas)

The Kumala (SWEET POTATO) holds a special place in the history of the Pacific, being one of the few cultivated plants that were introduced into the Pacific from South America before the advent of Europeans. The tubers are like large potatoes with, as the name indicates, a sweetish taste, and the leaves of the scrambling vines are also eaten in some parts of Fiji as green vegetables, boiled in coconut milk.

Kawai (Dioscorea esculenta)

The Kawai (SWEET YAM) is a species of yam with smallish tubers containing white flesh with a sweetish taste, not unlike those floury potatoes. Like all yams, it is planted in mounds, and the growth of the tuber is matched by the growth of a spiny vine with broad, deep-green, spade-shaped leaves. It is planted around September and matures in the cool season (around June or July), thus providing a continuous supply of root crops when the main yam crop is exhausted. Kawai is particularly common in the drier parts of Fiji, especially the Macuata area of northern Vanua Levu.

Uvi Dioscorea alata

Uvi (YAMS)  In Fiji, the months of the year are largely determined by the planting, growth, harvesting, and ritual presentation of yams; indeed, the Fijian word for the year, yabaki, originally meant ‘yam-harvest’. They are planted in mounds in the cool season (June–July) and mature in about nine months. For best results, the vines are trained on real trellises. It is considered a great compliment to a man to say he is a good yam cultivator. Yams last well as long as they are protected from rodents and other pests and are often kept in specially built storehouses called valevale or lololo. There are many varieties in all shapes and sizes, but the typical yam is long and knobbly, with white flesh that can be relatively hard. Yam competitions used to be run annually in many parts of Fiji, and tubers can measure over six feet (2 meters) and weigh up to 45 kilograms. The visible part of the plant is a spiny vine that spirals to the right as it climbs, with small leaves shaped like rather pointed hearts.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLESTRADITIONAL & TROPICALFIJI GROWN & PRODUCEDFIJIAN SPICES
Citrus (Limes)BeleCheese (hand made)Cardamon
CornCassavaHerbs (basil, coriander, mint, parsley etc.)Chilli
EggplantCoconutHoneyCinnamon
Noni fruit (Kura)DaloLettuce and hydroponic vegetablesCurry leaves
Papaya (Pawpaw)Dawa (Longan)MushroomsGinger
PumpkinKavaNama (Seagrapes)Nutmegs
Table: All Year Crops
JANUARYFEBRUARYMARCHAPRILMAYJUNEJULYAUGUSTSEPTEMBEROCTOBERNOVEMBERDECEMBER
AvocadoAvocadoBananaBananaBilimbi FruitBilimbi FruitBilimbi FruitBok ChoyBananaBananaAvocadoAvocado
BananaBananaBilimbi FruitBilimbi FruitBreadfruitBreadfruitBok ChoyBroccoliBok ChoyBok ChoyBananaBanana
Bilimbi FruitBilimbi FruitBreadfruitBok ChoyBok ChoyBok ChoyBroccoliCabbageBroccoliCabbageBok ChoyBread Fruit
BreadfruitBreadfruitChilliBreadfruitCabbageCabbageCabbageCocoaCabbageGooseberriesGooseberriesGooseberries
CapsicumCapsicumGranadillaChilliCocoaCocoaCocoaGooseberriesGooseberriesCapsicumCapsicumCapsicum
CarrotChilliGuavaCocoaCowpeasCowpeasGooseberriesCapsicumCapsicumCarrotCarrotCarrot
ChilliDarukaLong BeansCowpeasCucumberCucumberCapsicumCarrotCarrotCowpeasCowpeasChilli
DaloGranadillaOkraGranadillaFrench BeansFrench BeansCarrotCauliflowerCowpeasCucumberDarukaCowpeas
DarukaGuavaPineappleGuavaGranadillaGranadillaCauliflowerCowpeasCucumberDurukaFrench BeansDaruka
GranadillaLong BeansPlantainLong BeansLettuceLettuceCowpeasCucumberDurukaFrench BeansJack FruitFrench Beans
GuavaMelonsRiceMung BeansMung BeansMelonsGranadillaFrench BeansFrench BeansJack FruitLettuceLettuce
Long BeansOkraWild CoffeePlantainPeanutsMung BeansCucumberKumalaJack FruitKumalaMangoLong Beans
MelonsPineappleYamsRicePigeon PeaPeanutsFrench BeansLettuceKumalaLettuceMelonMango
OkraPlantainWild CoffeePineapplePigeon PeaLettuceMelonsLettuceMangoMung BeansMelon
PeanutsRiceYamsRicePineappleMelonsMung BeanMelonsMelonsPeanutsMung beans
PineappleSoursopWild CoffeeRiceMung BeanPeanutsMung BeanMung BeanPineappleOkra
PlantainWild CoffeeYamsWild CoffeePassionfruitPigeon PeaPeanutsPeanutsPlantainPineapple
SoursopYamsYamsPeanutsTomatoPigeon PeaPigeon PeaTomatoPlantain
Pigeon PeaTurmericPineapplePineappleSoursop
PineappleWild CoffeeWild CoffeePlantainTomato
TomatoYamZucchiniWild Coffee
TurmericZucchini
Vanilla
Wild Coffee
Yam
Zucchini
Table: Seasonal Produce Availability Calendar
Video: Suva Market Fiji

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Fruit?

Fruit, the matured ovary of a flowering plant, encompasses a wide range of forms, from fleshy to dry, enclosing seeds within. This definition includes a variety of produce such as apricots, bananas, grapes, beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and nuts like acorns and almonds. However, colloquially, the term “fruit” typically refers to sweet, succulent, or pulpy ripened ovaries.

What is a Vegetable?

Vegetable, in the broadest sense, any kind of plant life or plant product, namely “vegetable matter”; in common, narrow usage, the term vegetable usually refers to the fresh edible portions of certain herbaceous plants—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, or seeds. These plant parts are either eaten fresh or prepared in a number of ways, usually as a savory, rather than sweet, dish.

What are Spices?

Spices are aromatic or pungent substances obtained from the seeds, fruits, bark, roots, or other parts of plants. They are typically used to flavor or season food and beverages. Spices can be dried and ground into powder form or used whole. Examples of common spices include cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, pepper, and turmeric. Spices are widely used in cooking to enhance the taste, aroma, and color of dishes, and they have been an integral part of culinary traditions across various cultures for centuries. Additionally, many spices are valued for their medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine practices.

What is a Root Crop?

A root crop refers to any plant whose edible portion grows underground as a root. These crops are cultivated for their underground storage organs, which can include roots, tubers, rhizomes, or corms. Root crops are valued for their nutritional content and are staples in many diets around the world. Common examples of root crops include potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, and cassava.

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