Call for Vanuatu farmers to plant more resilient crops

Farmers throughout Vanuatu are being encouraged to plant more climate resilient vegetables and crops such as manioc, sweet potato, taro and yam.

The call has gone out as the Vanuatu Methodology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) is predicting high chances of La Niña forming and lasting until November this year. 

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) said it takes the advisory from VMGD seriously and wants farmers to start making decisions and act. 

The La Niña phenomena is expected to bring normal or above rainfall for the next three to six months and can cause flooding and landslides.  

La Niña can affect agriculture. 

The Director of DARD, Antoine Ravo, said a possible La Niña will lengthen vegetables production meaning producing crops during off-season. 

"We are currently at the end of the vegetables seasons therefore with the likelihood of La Niña development is good news for the farmers in the sense that they will continue to plant as the rain will irrigate their crops" he said. 

The Director is appealing to farmers to continue planting vegetables so that they can be harvested in the next three months.  

"Root crops such as manioc, sweet potato and taro can be harvested in six months, by the time we are into the cyclone season and there is sufficient local food to eat and enough planting materials in case we have a cyclone in 2021". 

"Chances for additional pest and disaster is expected to be low" 

DARD said it will continue to support farmers with technical advise and resources to support production and ensure food secure. 

"It is the duty of the department to informed farmers on the VMGD's advisory on weather changes so that they can plan and make better decisions for their crops", Mr Ravo concluded. 



Tensly Sumbe