The business plan has been developed to guide the implementation of the goals and objectives articulated in these two plans through the operations of the Department.
The Department is also guided by the Agriculture Sector Policy 2015-2030 and the various individual strategies such as the Coconut Strategy, Kava Strategy and the Fruits and Vegetables Strategy.
DARD said due to the national reporting requirements under the NSDP, the plan is orientated to meeting the department’s obligations under this business plan.
The business plan provides a guide for organisations and institutions wanting to work with the Department.
The DARD Business Plan outlines key activities that will be implemented in the 2019 calendar year.
Agriculture has a key role in promoting and protecting food security as well as economic development and livelihoods in both urban and rural areas of Vanuatu.
It is a critical part of Vanuatu’s formal economy, contributing over 20% of the national GDP, as well as being the cornerstone of the subsistence economy. Agriculture represents 75% of the primary sector contribution to GDP.
Vulnerability to the threats of climate change and natural disasters, as well as pests and diseases, highlights the importance of policies and programs that increase the resilience and adaptability of the agricultural sector.
The majority of Vanuatu’s agricultural production continues be for subsistence, comprising 75% of all production, with 15% semi-commercial and 10% commercial. Subsistence production is primarily root crops and other vegetables for own consumption and is reliant on rain irrigation and rudimentary farming tools.
Semi-commercial activities largely involve food crops for urban markets, including vegetables such as island cabbage and Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants. The commercial sector is dominated by 4 commodity crops, coconut, kava, cocoa and coffee, with other emerging crops such as spices, citrus and noni.
To ensure Vanuatu’s agricultural sector is increasingly productive and competitive it must be dynamic and innovative.
In 2019 the activities of the Department focus on encouraging innovation in three key areas: increasing capacity for research and development, adoption of agricultural and information technologies to improve production and information systems, and increasing staff skills and knowledge to ensure high performing service provision.
Photo supplied Caption Subsistence farming in Vanuatu