Farmers that attended the training this week went through a practical exercise on the demonstration using rotavators to increase production.
Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries, and Biosecurity, Moses Amos, said the training is very important on using the machinery to achieve the maximum production impact.
“What happened today is part of the Agriculture sector policy, that under the leadership of Director Antoine (Ravo), we are able to develop it.
“On Monday we made a presentation of the Ministry to the MBC, Ministerial Budget Committee.
“Part of the presentation is to justify why the government has to give funds to the Ministry for use to assist farmers.
“When I prepared data and calculated the total food production in Vanuatu, I realised that the total production in Vanuatu was just over 78,000 tonnes.
“That is what we are producing annually.
“The date is based on the 2016 mini census.
“This production would have increased with the increase of households.
“When the household increases, the demand for food increases.
“Based on the 2016 figures, total production for Vanuatu is just over 78,000 tonnes.
“When we calculate based on a formula to find the total production that should feed the population, it needs 79,000 tonnes to feed the population.
“Our total production is 78,000 tonnes, but what we need is 79,000 tonnes to feed our population.
“So, we are under-producing by 1,000 tonnes.
“Why do we have a small production? There are many factors to this.
“It is because we are still using spades, shovels, pick, and crowbar to plant over the past 40 years.
“Our production is based on that but now that the population has increased, we need to increase production,” DG Amos said.
He said this can only be met through mechanization as encouraged by the ministry to provision of tractors and now rotavators for single farmers.
He encourages consistency in supply of agricultural products and increase production to ensure costs of products reduce in the markets and there is surplus to process or export.
The Director General acknowledged Director Ravo and Deputy Mark Vurobaravu and senior officers under the Department of Agriculture for coming up with the initiative of a 70:30 approach to buy rotavators where the farmer meets 30 percent cost of machine and the government meets 70 percent. Similar arrangements are made for Livestock Department and Fisheries Department.
Photo supplied Caption: Farmers learn the proper way to operate a rotavator machine