The Emae Farmers Association was revived in 2017 through the support of the Assistant Agriculture Officer on Emae, Mr Stephen Natigo.
According to the Assistant Agriculture Officer the local farmers that came to Port Vila with their vegetables and root crops were selected from 10 villages on Emae.
“Our yearly plan for 2018 featured two market dates- July and December” Natigo said.
“Most of the products sold in July were yams of different varieties. The December sale currently underway at Marobe market features a mixture of local produce like taro, kumala, wild yam, bananas, dry coconuts green coconuts, vegetables and small livestock animals like pigs and local chickens.”
This week is the third time for local farmers to access market opportunities outside of Emae. The farmers have participated in the National Agriculture Festival held in Santo last June, sale at Marobe in July and again this month.
“It is a great opportunity for farmers to sell their local produce after cyclone Pam in 2015,” the Emae Assistant Agriculture Officer said.
Emae is part of the KFW recovery project and through the Department of Agriculture and rural development has benefited from the distribution of farming tools and resilient crop varieties since 2016.
The result looks promising now that farmers are able to produce surplus food for the market.
“The produce are ready for sale and there are more left for families back home,” Mr Natigo said.
He added that local farmers on Emae are targeting food security to ensure all families have enough food on the table before thinking of selling the surplus that they have in their farms.
“We are also looking at small livestock production and replanting of key commodity crops that cyclone Pam has destroyed like kava and also engaging in climate change adaptation activities.”
The Assistant Agriculture Officer encourages all farmers on Emae to continue to cultivate crops according to the planting calendar and to practice resilience farming system techniques to cope with climate variability, change and natural disaster.
He said farmers are encouraged to produce high quantity of local produce for the market so that they can get a good income.
Photo supplied Caption: Local produce at Marobe Market