Minister wants spice production increased

Minister of Agriculture wants spice production increased

By Anita Roberts

Only 7% of households in Vanuatu out of a population of 272,459 are involved in spice crop production.

A total of 88% are engaged in vegetable production and 57% in cash crop, the Minister of Agriculture Matai Seremaiah revealed, according to the 2016 Mini Census Report.

Sanma province alone produces the highest quantity of spice crops such as pepper and vanilla. Many of the spices are grown there.

They are being sold directly by farmers to markets in both Luganville and Port Vila.

Minister Seremaiah said the current spice production is not enough to meet local consumption or meet export.

Spices nowadays are part of every day meals.

Restaurants and hotels need spices to add flavour to their food.

Minister Seremaiah encouraged farmers in the northern Sanma province to produce more quality spices enough to meet local demand.

Farmers are urged to work with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to boost the low spice production.

DARD is now looking at increasing seedling and planting materials opportunities for farmers on Santo and outer islands.

Apart from spices, Sanma also has the capacity to produce and export cash crops like kava, copra and cocoa internationally, said Minister Seremaiah.

The minister said he wants to see that every farmers are involve in agribusiness to increase national food production and security.

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