Vanuatu agriculture to receive VT1 billion as business feels COVID-19 impact

This was confirmed by the Economic Stabilisation Package team leader, Rex Willie.

He said this money will be removed from the Employment Stabilisation Package.

“If we have problems with imports of goods or jobs losses, we have agriculture to substitute,” said Willie.

At the recent opening of the Agriculture Show in Port Vila the Prime Minister announced 21% of next year’s national budget will be put into Ministry of Agriculture.

As Vanuatu government redirects it focus, other businesses in Vanuatu and around the region continue to suffer.

DARD signs agreement with VARTC for Research and Development of fruits and vegetables

The honor was given to the Acting Director General (DG) for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB), William Naviti, to sign the agreement on behalf of DARD Director, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for VARTC, Michel Lechapt.

“MALFFB Executive has agreed to involve the DG’s office to officiate the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement that DARD is implementing.

Director for DARD, Antoine Ravo said, “The agreement will assist VARTC in its research and development work focusing on fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture Regulations workshop planned for Santo

The main purpose of visiting the Assistant Agriculture Officers (AAO) in their areas, as scheduled in DARD’s 2020 Business Plan, is to find out their needs and challenges and how the forums have assisted them to address skills gaps and needs identified.

The first team is currently visiting Sanma Province.

A new Agriculture Act was passed in parliament in 2018 to provide for the management of the agriculture sector, especially with the commercial production.

The Act has mandated the Department of Agriculture to take lead on its implementation.

Vanuatu’s Shepherd Islands farmers encouraged to increase produce

SMAS was a very important event where participating farmers were observed and evaluated by technical officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism, Industry and Cooperatives to measure the level of production of farmers and what the farmers should do in preparation for the next Shepherds Mini Agriculture Show.

Farmers need to connect with buyers in the tourism industry

This applies also to tourists that visit the Pacific, according to the Hilton (2014) survey of travellers which says that 36 percent of tourists interviewed chose their holiday destination based on food and drinks on offer.

Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific with an agri-tourism policy that recognises the link between agriculture and tourism. Its focus is on growing more local produce and encouraging hotels and restaurants to use local foods on their menu in the hope that it will eventually decrease their fresh food import bill.

Vanuatu farmer sings merits of growing yams

Several thousand ni-Vanuatus go to New Zealand each year as part of the Recognised Seasonal Employer programme.

Rao Abel Yalu told the Daily Post that he had shown he could earn a significant income each week by selling at the Port Vila market.

He says his sons were convinced and have agreed to stay and help him plant more yams on the farm.

Mr Yalu says he planted his yams early last year to start harvesting them in January instead of May to avoid competition from other farmers. 

Increasing resilience to disasters in Vanuatu with right tools, knowledge

He is sending the latest information on crop production back to Port Vila to guide decisions about crop availability.

Vanuatu’s Extension Officers are being equipped and trained to respond to disasters and plan for improved resilience with practical training and “know-how.”

Rural women building food security

The community-based Food Security project is working with women from churches across Vanuatu to train them on how to conduct their own food security assessments in their village. The training also looks at how to prepare food supplies so that village families are more resilient in times of disaster.

The training has been organised by Vanuatu Christian Council. ‘Food security’ means that everyone has enough healthy and safe food all the time to have a strong and healthy life.

Caribbean-Pacific exchange to strengthen capacity for crop researchers and extension officers

The participants are from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Pacific Community (SPC).

The exchange is supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and SPC through the European Union supported Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP).

Hacking the farm: How farmers use 'digital agriculture' to grow more crops

Meanwhile, the amount of arable land is decreasing, and farmers face mounting challenges.

Climate Corporation aims to take the guesswork out of issues like weather and crop disease. The 10-year-old company offers a slate of "digital agriculture" tools that provide a real-time, Facebook-esque feed about what's happening on a farm at every moment.