“We are aiming for Malo Island to be the leading island of pepper production and other spices given its capacity in terms of lead farmers, skills, soil type and supply access to the market”.
Director of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Antoine Ravo makes the confirmation based on his current network with the pepper farmers of Malo following his visit to the island early this year.
Established pepper farmer Vanua Tamata is a classic example of former Recognised Seasonal Employment worker who returned home with his RSE skills from New Zealand, to put them to good use for his family and community and island, by starting with approximately one hectare of pepper farm.
The pepper farmer and other spice farmers are aiming to work hard to turn their island into the leading spices island in Vanuatu by 2030.
Most farmers on Malo sell their pepper produce in Luganville.
Prices range from Vt1,500 to Vt3,000 per kilo black pepper and Vt5,000 per kilo for white pepper.
DARD Director Ravo says farmer Tamata is now in the process of fulfilling his promise to expand his production.
Depending on the soil type, environmental condition, climate and proper plantation management, the Director says pepper takes three to four years to harvest depending on soil conditions, environmental condition, climate and proper plantation management.
Other productive islands include Malekula, Santo, Gaua, Efate, Tanna, Aneityum, and Epi.