The kava cuttings of the ‘Kelai’ kava noble variety (nodes) will be delivered to kava farmers in the six farming communities.
Member of Parliament for Tafea Outer islands, Tomker Netvunei, who is originally from the island chartered the planes to deliver the kava cuttings.
The first chartered flight two weeks ago was loaded with 11 bags of kelai kava cuttings and the second chartered flight last weekend loaded 17 bags of kelai kava cuttings.
The cuttings were purchased from Sakapnoe Kava Farmers Association.
Assistant Agriculture Officer (AAO) for Epi, John Willie, confirmed that there are two kava farmers associations on Epi, Nikaura Kava Farmers Association and Sakapnoe Kava Farmers Association.
Mr Willie said kava farmers on Epi are increasing their kava production and he is happy that the island of Epi is able to supply cuttings of kelai noble kava variety to other farmers.
500 people from Cook’s Bay, Nalvin, Naiwon, Port Narvin, Sipiyompui and Potasipsip villages of North and North East Erromango received approximately 100 cuttings of noble kava Kelai variety per household.
This activity was based on a contract signed between Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Erro Timber & Sandalwood Company purposely for the distribution of kava cuttings to the farming communities on Erromango.
The initiative is in line with the MALFFB Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy directives targeting full engagement and partnership of the private sector to support the Ministry through increased production of specific commodities and also supporting the implementation of the National Kava Strategy Replanting Programme.
The Department of Agriculture’s target for 2019 is to distribute 1 million kava seedlings and over 100,000 stalks or nodes of noble kava varieties to assist farmers to increase kava production.
Photo supplied Caption: Transporting kava cuttings from Epi to Erromango