Onion vendor makes good


L IKE other Papua New Guineans who migrate from the rural setting to urban centres for opportunities, Dorin Daren took her chance and moved to Port Moresby 15 years ago as a young mother.
Daren, 44, is from Kimil village in Banz district, Jiwaka. She is a reseller who buys bags of imported onion from suppliers and sells them at the Boroko Market.
She is married and has two children, a son and a daughter, who are in high school. Her husband is a security guard and they live together at Wildlife settlement.
Because Daren did not have a basic education, getting involved in informal markets in centres with big economies like Port Moresby was her opportunity to provide for her family.
After arriving in Port Moresby with her husband and children in 2007, Daren started buying onion bags and selling them at Gordon Market.
“When I first came here, I saw the selling at in Gordon Market,” she said.

“I noticed that not many women were selling onions and the demand was there, so I started with a bag of onion which I bought for K70.
“I sold them as loose onions and in heaps. The loose ones were sold for 50t, K1 and K2 each depending on the sizes and a heap of four to six onions were sold for K6.
“I also sold full bags of onions with a 10 per cent markup price from the wholesale price – I bought them for K70 and K90 and was reselling them for K80 and K100.
“I was making K30 to K40 profit from one bag and each day I sold around three bags but during Christmas, Independence or school graduations I got more customers and I was selling six to seven bags in a day.
“In a week, I made K500 to K700 and the money was good. I opened a bank account and I saved half the profit and the rest I spent to meet other family needs.” Daren said though her husband was working as a security guard, his income was not enough to meet the family’s essential needs.
“With the money I made from selling onions, I managed to raise the two children, paying for their school fees, their allowances, and provide our daily meals,” Daren said.
“Onions have kept me and my family going since we came here, with my savings from the sales, I was able buy land at Wildlife settlement and built a small house for rent. Recently I bought a small car I am running a taxi service, all this because of onion.”
With the current reconstruction of Gordon market, Daren said she had to change to Boroko Market which was a challenge.
“Right now, I am not making that much money like I used to get at Gordon but this won’t stop me. Gordon market will be re-opened soon so it’ll all be okay.
“I’ve only sold onion since I came to Moresby and I will continue to sell only onions,” Daren said.

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