VAC to produce 23,000 Kava seedlings under agreement with MALFFB

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) and the Vanuatu Agriculture College (VAC) have signed an agreement to produce kava seedlings.

The agreement was signed by the Director General for MALFFB, Moses Amos and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VAC, Peter Napwatt, after the second kava forum recently on Santo.

Under the agreement, VAC is obliged to produce over 23,000 kava seedlings at a value of VT4 Million to supply to interested farmers. DARD will purchase kava seedlings at VT170 considering factors of production and the selling price to farmers will be VT50 per seedling.

The Director for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Antoine Ravo, said DARD has signed several agreements with private companies under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy directive of MALFFB to ensure sufficient supply of kava planting materials are available to farmers.

Many farmers were enquiring on where they could access kava seedlings and cuttings.

“Before interested farmers have access to kava seedlings from VAC, DARD officers will visit the nursery to ensure quality seedlings and the plants are healthy and performing well when planted out in the field.

“We want to receive positive feedback from farmers to maintain the relationship between government and private sector, in this case VAC.

“The VAC students could come up with such initiative to work with the government in their projects when they return home.

“Beleru farm on Santo provides kava cuttings to farmers around Sanma Province. In 2020, more initiatives and agreements will be signed with farmers and especially established farmers’ association who can come forward and indicate their interest in working with MALFFB.

“Apart from kava, MALFFB through DARD will be working with interested farmers of key crops or specific crops like vanilla, pepper, coffee, cacao and other crops to develop each crop through partnership.

“Any interested farmers’ association should notify DARD and DARD officers will do an inspection on farm before an agreement could be reached to further develop identified crops under the jurisdiction of DARD,” Director Ravo said.

As a beneficiary of the partnership agreement, CEO Napwatt encouraged farmers and parents of young people on Santo to increase the number of young people attending the College.


Photo supplied Caption: CEO Peter Napwatt and DG MALFFB after signing of the agreement



Tensly Sumbe