Vanuatu implements Food Security Response Plan COVID-19

The Vanuatu Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) is currently implementing COVID- 19 Food Security Response Plan endorsed by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC).

The priority actions include the Commercial Food Basket where supply of local produce is made accessible to urban households at an affordable price.

DARD is working in partnership with some key farmers on Efate and commercial farms to gather the supply of fresh produce and has been on sale at the Sepeta Warehouse at Tagabe DARD station to the general public since 27 March 2020.

The food supplies include sweet potato or kumala at VT50 per kilo, manioc being sold at VT60 per kilo and Tahitian lime fruits sold at VT150 per kilo. Free planting materials particularly manioc and kumala cuttings were also provided to interested individuals.

Over a tonne of manioc and over a tonne of sweet potato have been sold out since day one of the activities.

The other priority plans that DARD has been encouraging is for households to stay at home and grow their own food such as vegetables and other root crops at their backyard or home garden.

Over 50 seed trays of vegetables seedlings were sold out to interested individuals so far and more people are still enquiring on when the next lot of vegetable seedlings will be available.

The Director for DARD who is also the FSAC chairman, Antoine Ravo, said, “I am appealing to Provincial FSAC to commence implementing the Food Security Response Plan for the worst scenario taking into consideration the two main actions, Commercial Food Basket and Backyard gardening which can be applied in their provinces.”

“In addition to our provincial preparedness plan, also include key priority activities such as distribution of planting materials (especially for short term crops) and encourage mobile marketing while encouraging good food hygiene practices and preservation at all times,” Mr Ravo said.

Photo supplied Caption: Agriculture officers selling sweet potato at the Sepeta Warehouse.



Tensly Sumbe