Boosting food security has been a main concern for the government following cyclone Pam and the lingering El Niño event which has left the population still coping with its impacts.
A year has passed since the cyclone, non-government organisations (NGOs) and the government are building partnerships to get the country’s economic backbone literally back on its feet.
Last Friday, the Minister of Agriculture, Matai Seramaiah, launched another recovery project which involves the revival of hub nurseries in the cyclone-hit provinces of Shefa and Tafea.
Seedlings from nurseries are a key success factor in the forestry and agriculture department supporting agriculture as one of the pillars of food security.
The implementation of the 18 months project has created significant outcomes.
One of those is the construction of seven nursery hubs in various areas such as Middle Bush on Tanna, Port Patrick (Aneityum), Ipota (Erromango), Paunangisu (Efate) , Emae and Tongoa including Epi.
It also saw the improvement of the two central nurseries at Tagabe in Port Vila and Isangel, Tanna
Distribution of resilient crop varieties has been reported by communities to be of greater benefit for example on Aneityum where the supply of local food is inadequate. So far, 51 varieties have been distributed.
Another success of the project was the assistance received by extension officers in the provinces.
The project aided the extension officers with the relocation and reconstruction of the nursery sites in the most needed areas.
In areas where there are no extension officers like Emae and parts of Tanna, sowing of seeds and distribution of seeds was implemented by the established knowledge hub committees.
The departments of agriculture and forestry create nurseries to grow and supply seedlings and plants to farmers focusing on as a nation’s wide food security initiative.
Funds to implement the project were secured from the United Nation Development Program by Live & Learn, a dynamic NGO operating in Vanuatu with focus on disaster.
Live & Learn is partnering with the departments of agriculture and forestry.