Preparations towards the Mini Agriculture Show on the island of Emae is progressing.

Emae is fortunate to host a planned mini agriculture show that will be held on the 18th to 21st of June 2019 at Tebakor that will also see participation of local farmers from Tongoa, Tongariki, Buninga, Makira and Mataso.

An awareness team from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) was on Emae last week to inform the people from different villages around Emae, Makira and Mataso on the importance of the event and what type of root crops and vegetables they should be planting now in preparations towards the agriculture show.

The Emae Mini Agriculture Show committee was set up on Sunday March 10, 2019 at the Ratu Organic market house, as a result of the awareness on this event.

The main role of this committee is to work in collaboration with DARD officers in Port Vila, to make sure coordination and organisation of transport, accommodation, venue, entertainment and other activities are well planned ahead before the actual date of the event.

Emae Island has ten communities with a total population of over 800 people and is situated close to Efate. It is the biggest among the group of islands known as the Shepherd islands.

The Area Secretary for Emae island, Christopher Daniel Matariki, said the people of Emae are very happy to host the mini agriculture show.

“We are glad that the DARD has reached out to rural communities to implement such important event and to nominate Emae island to host this mini agriculture show,” he said.

“This is a result of successful participation of local farmers from Emae at the National Agriculture Festival on Santo in 2018 and two successful sale of local produce at Marobe market in Port Vila last year.

“The National Agriculture Festival on Santo was an eye opener for many farmers on Emae so the mini agriculture show will provide an avenue where farmers will demonstrate what they have experienced on Santo”

Mr Matariki said for the Shepherd islands, this is an opportunity where fishermen will showcase aquatic resources, agricultural products, livestock and forestry products.

“This is a first ever mini agriculture show that the people of Emae will take the ownership of proving themselves that the island of Emae has the potential of hosting such event with the abundant resources that they have and the island been declared organic by the chiefs two years ago, will reflect the theme ‘Grow organic, Eat local, Think global’,” he said.

The Area Secretary continued that all agricultural produce that will be exhibited will be grown organically.

As a member of the Emae Mini Agriculture Show Committee overseeing sponsorships, Mr Matariki is appealing to all resourceful people and leaders from the Shepherds group living in Port Vila, to assist the committee financially to ensure coordination and organisation of this event is a success.

“The Emae organizing committee will be sending a formal letter seeking financial assistance from resourceful people, leaders and politicians from the Shepherds group living in Port Vila shortly, so we are looking forward to receive a positive response,” he concluded.

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