Work on strengthening local market monitoring capacities in Fiji has begun, with the Market Functionality Index (MFI) assessment tool.
A team of researchers from the University of the South Pacific (USP) recently conducted an assessment in Kadavu to understand the functionality of produce markets, including the capabilities of local market vendors to provide food when people needed them.
The research is a Pacific-led effort that contextualises technologies for use in market research. The USP team has been working with the World Food Programme (WFP) staff in Suva to contextualise the WFP MFI tool to Fiji and trained the USP team on the key components of the MFI tool. Understanding when, how, why, and where people receive food economically before and after disasters is crucial for the planning of response measures that promote food and nutritional security for the most vulnerable households.
The research will assist in understanding food availability, costs, and variety in markets such as major, side-street, and supermarkets in Fiji and Samoa, which is critical during the disaster cycle and various economic, health, and geological factors shocks.
The research would also assist in establishing the minimal expenditure basket for households in Fiji and Samoa for both food and non-food goods.
The project is in collaboration between the United Nations World Food Programme and The University of the South Pacific to strengthen local market monitoring capacities in Fiji and Samoa.