Vanuatu farmers reminded to prepare for cyclones

The cyclone season in Vanuatu runs from November to April.

Farmers are being advised to pay attention to messages sent out by authorities in the event a cyclone develops.

The department said farmers can cut off tree branches close to farm houses, remove old farm houses that are not needed, reinforce the roofing with nails or a rope and bar the windows with iron roofing or timber.

Vanuatu Agriculture Minister welcomes copra price increase

The new price became effective one 1 December 2018.

The Government decided to increase the price in response to growing concerns and complaints from industry players about the deteriorating copra price.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade had promised to increase the copra price during his last visits to the northern town but has emphasied that Govt financial support should and must be fair to all commodities and not only copra.

Vanuatu Red Cross Society responds to Ambrym communities needs

“The Vanuatu Red Cross Society operation aims to assist affected communities with basic needs.” said Jacqueline De Gaillande, Chief Executive Officer.

Vanuatu Red Cross Society has begun mobilizing its emergency response-trained volunteers in Sanma, Malampa and the headquarters in Port Vila to distribute non-food Items and provide support to the evacuees.

The volunteers will also carry out assessments.

Vanuatu farmers encouraged to grow more local produce

According to Principal Agriculture Officer South, Peter Iesul, the local produce is a substitution for imported fruits and vegetables.

“Through the reports from the Statistics Office, it indicates that onion, potato, carrot and some other crops are imported mainly from Australia and New Zealand.”

Mr Iesul told farmers during the launching of sale of Epi onions in Port Vila that many studies have been done in Vanuatu and trials were implemented on Tanna, Efate and some other islands of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu DARD carries out research on sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is a crop that has a short life cycle of three to four months before harvesting unlike taro, yam and manioc that need eight to ten months.

“Scientists are doing many research work on sweet potato to ensure in the future, with a high population, food security is maintained,” said Dr Vincent Lebot, the Scientist working with the Ministry of Agriculture.

“One priority is to cross pollinate the types of sweet potato that already exists to produce new hybrids and also to upgrade the potential of sweet potato.”

Vanuatu primary school gets access to Clean Energy

The classroom was built by funds sourced from the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP).

Peace Corps volunteer Frances worked with the chairperson of the project, Sarah Nabil to see the classroom come to fruition.

The PCPP also paid for four solar panels, regulator, battery, laptops, lights, cables, tablets, printer, speaker and shipping costs.

The laptops, tablets, speaker and printer are in the school office and are already raising money because community members pay a fee to charge their devices.

Evacuees returning to Ambae against official advice

The eruption of the volcano at the island's centre forced the evacuation of Ambae's more than 10-thousand residents in August.

They have been living in temporary accommodation on nearby islands since then, where they've complained of cramped conditions and little governnment support.

But in the past few months, with the volcano's threat downgraded, some villagers have opted to return to Ambae to try and restart their lives.

Vanuatu agriculture department offers work attachment for students

Some of the students are attending different Universities in the Pacific while others are from Malapoa College, Onesua Presbyterian College and Central School in Vanuatu.

They are studying different fields in Agriculture like Bachelor of Tropical Agriculture, Bachelor of Agriculture and Applied Science, Agriculture Economist and Bachelor of Agri- Business.

The Department of Agriculture annually provides an opportunity for students to undertake work experience and involved in practical activities at the farm in Port Vila.

Medicinal marijuana in Vanuatu could impact food security says farmer

The government is looking to legalise growing medicinal marijuana to help boost the sector.

While smoking marijuana will still be illegal in Vanuatu, the new crops would be exported for medical use overseas.

The National Farmers Association's Peter Kaoh said while it could have economic benefits, he worries many farmers could switch from growing food to cannabis.

Mr Kaoh said he's concerned about the impacts it may have on food security.

Vanuatu mayor arrested for alleged hit-and-run incident

Lord Mayor Albert Daniel was detained for driving his official car while drunk as he was visiting his relatives in North Efate.

The Daily Post reports he is likely to be charged and will face trial.

A police commander, Jackson Noal, said no one is above the law, and anyone found driving drunk will be arrested.