Vanuatu Pentecost farmers benefit from PHAMA programme

The Vanuatu Department of Agriculture with support from Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program organised a kava awareness and training on Pentecost Island last week.

During the day special speeches were made by kava exporters, kava processors, farmers association representatives, and the kava export regulator.

The purpose of the mission to Pentecost is to conduct a kava re-planting launch and training/awareness to farmers from Southern Ward up to Northern Ward of Pentecost island.

During the awareness program the department of agriculture distributed over 33,000 kava stalks to over 150 farmers.

The department says they are confident the kava farmers are going to plant more than the national target of a million kava plants by 2025.

“The ongoing challenges faced by the industry include the cost of transport and poor access between farms and markets.

Kava takes three to five years to harvest and the farming knowledge is advancing to ensure 100 percent growth rate of noble kava”

Early this year the department of Agriculture launched the Kava Replanting Programme, in which farmers are encouraged to raise Kava plants in nurseries before planting them with suitable companion crops like kumala, banana and taro.

Kava as an important commercial crop, brings in approximately Vt400 Million in annual export earnings, a figure that is expected to grow with increasing market access and product development.


Pic caption: Kava stalks ready for planting.



Tensly Sumbe
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