A total of 12,000 kava cuttings were distributed to the farmers in South Santo areas 1 and 2 under an outreach programme supported by the government and the private sector.
The department of agriculture and rural development (DARD) has engaged the private sector in the Pubic Private Partnership (PPP) programme to execute some of DARD’s activities targeting specific commodity crops like kava, noni, coffee, coconuts and vegetables.
The agriculture ministry signed an agreement under the PPP with the South Santo Investment (SSI) group to supply kava cuttings to Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold affected communities.
The Agreement stipulates the obligation of both parties and the condition of the agreement to supply kava cuttings worth of VT 2,000,000 to farmers on South and South West Santo in response to the TC Harold Recovery Programme under the MALFFB and the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) supplementary budget under the European Development Fund (EDF11) fund.
This initiative taken by the MALFFB is to promote kava production in South Santo as part of the National Kava Replanting Programme.
South Santo Investment is a group of farmers led by Pastor Geeroy of the Presbyterian Church of South Santo, established in 2016 with over 400 registered farmers.
The group was registered with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) to enable the farmers to engage in commercial farming and other commercial activities.
The purpose of the group is to ensure the farmers secure markets, negotiate funding assistance and other technical support from the Government, aid donors and Non- Government Organizations (NGOs).
This is the first engagement of SSI under the signed agreement to implement DARD’s kava replanting programme. .
Photo supplied Caption: Kava bundles distributed at South Santo Area 1