Joint launch

Deputy Prime Minister and MP Tosul launching new Agriculture Policy

By Len Garae

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry, Moana Carcasses has become the first Minister in the new Sato Kilman-led Government to acknowledge the work of a former Minister in the former Natuman-led Government when he invited the former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, MP David Tosul to join him to launch the country’s New Agriculture Policy Document at the Tagabe Agriculture Station yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister’s gesture reflects the Prime Minister’s appeal to his new Cabinet to work with their Director Generals to ensure continuity functions in the Government Public Service machinery.

In fact in his address he paid tribute to the former Minister of Agriculture, MP David Tosul who was also present for the ceremony.

Former Minister of Lands MP Ralph Regenvanu also attended the ceremony.

But before the launching took place Director General Howard Aru confirmed Agriculture’s new logo which reads, “Yumi go”. “We are very late in many ways. We have just finished one symposium this week in which a lot of discussions and debates were shared by many representatives of the private sector”, he said.

“Allow me to share with you a quote which I hold dear as part of my training while attending a South South Cooperation held in Singapore.

“Former prime minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew said, ‘Dare to dream and dare to do what you dream”.

The DG said the new Agriculture Policy is the dream of the former Minister of Agriculture which has come true but there is a long road to go. “I thank you all donor partners who are here today as well as those who are not present with us. Why ‘yumi go’ because we have been asleep for far too long and now at long last, the Ministry and all the Departments under it have decided it is time to wake up”, the DG said.

“Now everyone across the board in the Ministry says ‘yumi go’ and that is the way we are going – ‘yumi go’. The logo will appear on our banners soon, meanwhile we have delivered over 100 heads of cattle to Torba Province recently. That is just the beginning”.

The Deputy Prime Minister specifically thanked MP Tosul for his long term vision towards developing the productive sector through his Ministry. “I wish to thank you and everyone present here today because after 35 years, we have a policy to guide us farmers, investors, departments, donors partners and the Government knowing that over 80% of the population are involved in agriculture”, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“For this reason it is important that we have a Vanuatu Agriculture Policy to guide us for the next 15 years”.

He said the challenge remains and that is how subsistence farmers can move from their traditional farms to produce more at commercial level in order to be able to export.

He noted that the widest cross section of people throughout the country were consulted in order to formulate the policy.

The document consists of thirteen sectors; among them finance, extension and training, compliance, investment, research, input services, environmental services, market access, food security, employment and gender.

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