The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development ‘s (DARD) Coconut Specialist based on Santo, Itlalio Bororoa, led a team of officers to engage in the distribution of seed nuts.
The varieties of coconut that are being distributed are Vanuatu Tall (VTT) with a total of 16,948 nuts, Brazil coconut 3,448 and 1,120 Africa coconut which total up to 21,508 nuts.
Vanuatu Tall represents 79 % of the total distributed, 16 % for Brazilian Green Dwarf and 5 % of African Variety.
The seed nuts were distributed to the islands of Gaua, Mota, Motalava, Ureparapara and Torres Island.
The Assistant Agriculture Officers based on these islands distributed the seed nuts to interested farmers as of last month.
The 2007 agriculture census had identified that majority of the coconut plantations in Vanuatu were old and as a result, there is a huge decline in copra production that is why the government had to step in to address the issue.
“According to the Vanuatu Coconut Strategy Vision, coconut will become the top earner by 2026 so our national target is to plant 1 million coconut trees by 2026,” Coconut Specialist, Italio Bororoa, stated.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is distributing seed nuts to interested farmers under the National Coconut Replanting Programme, to increase production.
“The 2019 seed nuts distribution includes some of the exotic varieties in order for farmers to target coconut water niche markets.
“The main target for seed nuts distribution in Torba is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) production.
“DARD is encouraging farmers to produce VCO at the same time ensure farmers have adequate supply of coconuts to sustain the production of VCO” Bororoa said.
Another main purpose is to drive coconut farmers to move out of black copra and to produce premium copra (white copra) as a buyer is ready to purchase premium copra.
The 2019 seed nuts distribution consist of three varieties. The African variety, which has sweet coconut milk that can be used in our traditional dishes, Brazilian Green Dwarf variety targets coconut water niche markets and improved Vanuatu Tall for VCO production.
Coconut distribution in Shefa and Tafea provinces is currently underway.
Photo supplied Caption: Shipment of seed nuts to Torba Province