The Sikotau Women's Association of Ifira, that normally sells artifacts when cruise ships arrive have resorted to selling cooked food on Ifira island as an alternative way of raising funds to assist at home to settle bills such as electricity and water.

Member of the Association, Meriam Sablan, says they buy food from people that bring raw food for sale on Ifira where they buy it before cooking and are reselling the food at Vt20 per item.

She reiterated that when the cruise ships stopped coming to Port Vila, it has really affected them, which is why are have regrouped to sell food at Vt20.

She says all members sell food at the same price of Vt20 and at the end of each day, each person sets aside Vt200 that is given to a finance officer.

Then on Saturday's an amount collected weekly of Vt14,600 is shared again among the women.

Sablan says the women also sell their produce at the Ifira school at the same price of Vt20.

She says the price is maintained at Vt20 to make the food affordable because everyone is facing hardship as a result of the effects of COVID-19.

Ms Sablan says the women on Ifira are also involved in backyard gardening at their homes.

"I planted banana, leaf 'laplap', and island cabbage.

"I planted in my backyard and can see that it is good to do backyard.

"Here on Ifira a lot of families are interesting in doing backyard gardening and if you go around each home you will find a back yard garden," she said.

The interest in backyard gardens on the island has received input by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Department as well as assistance from young people from Ifira that have been to the Agriculture College on Santo.

It is also understood that Ifira Trustees Limited has assisted with the transport of top soil from Erangorango to Woraulua Point where people on Ifira transport their own soil in bags to create their own backyard gardens.

Ifira island is situated in Port Vila harbour and some of its residents commute daily to Port Vila for work via fiberglass taxi boats that belong to people on the island.

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