The country’s Small Livestock Farming Programme involving dual purpose Sussex chickens, pigs and goats is becoming so popular among small farmers in rural communities that Director of Livestock, Lonny Bong, has described its popularity as akin to wild fire.
Livestock will distribute 10,000 chicks to rural farmers throughout the country this year 2018.
While confirming the figure, the Director says the number does not include almost 4,000 chicks that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is going to distribute to small farmers on Tanna, nor KFW’s distribution of over 2,000 chicks to youths throughout the country.
A team of small livestock officers is travelling to Torres next week to run small livestock training programme for youths in Torba Province before continuing with the same training programme for youths in Sanma Province.
“I am excited that KFW is coming in to run the training programme to help our young people to take part in the productive and economic activities,” Director Bong says.
To prove the popularity of the training programme, he says representatives of Youth Challenge will be attached to the Department of Livestock to learn firsthand how to become a small livestock farmer of chickens, ducks, pigs or goats.
Students from Vanuatu Agriculture College (VAC) are currently on attachment with the Department until June to get hands-on experience before returning to VAC to start their second semester.
The Director says three incubators are now in operation at Tagabe with four more coming soon.
Two are funded by KFW while the Department is funding two. “The latest incubators are going to be shipped to Santo to hatch new chicks for distribution to farmers in the northern islands”, he adds.
Chicks that have been distributed to farmers last year have already started laying eggs.
Even special pigs have been distributed to farmers in the islands. “We appreciate DFAT, KFW and International Food and Agriculture Development (IFAD) which have successfully touched the lives of our rural communities through their assistance,” he says.