The Minister of Agriculture, Matai Seremiah has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vanuatu Agriculture Supplies (VAS) to increase Vanuatu’s production in terms of machinery.
The VAS won the tender to supply four tractors to the Department of Agriculture and the signing and handing over of the cheque took place on Friday afternoon at the Department of Agriculture.
In his speech, Mr Seremiah congratulated VAS and said that this is the start of a long journey to bring Vanuatu to a standard where better production must be seen from the agricultural sector and this can only be done through mechanization.
“The plan is to have 17 tractors altogether but we can manage four for now and VAS will supply the department and farmers can then have access to these machines to increase their productions,” he said.
“I am excited about this initiative as VAS will also provide spare parts of these tractors and Vanuatu’s production will indeed increase to feed the population as well as surplus for export.”
Mr Seremiah has also acknowledged the Australian government through DFAT for funding the project which costs around Vt43 million, and he handed over the cheque of Vt21,507,500 as the first 50% installment payment of the four tractors to the General Manager of VAS, Mr Ben Sands.
“It is not easy convincing the government and aid partners for a project of this nature but we are grateful and we will work together to ensure that we work towards the purpose of these projects,” he said.
VAS has conveyed its support of the project and commitment to ensure that they provide quality service to meet the demand of the department of Agriculture as well as the farmers around Vanuatu.
The signing ceremony was sealed with kava and light refreshment by representatives from VAS, Australian Government representative and the Ministry of Agriculture.