Over 3,000 kava cuttings supplied by a key kava farmer in North Pentecost, have been freely distributed to interested farmers in Ahivo District, North Pentecost.
Christopher Toa, who is a key kava farmer, supplied kava cuttings to interested farmers in North Pentecost, through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)’s Assistant Agriculture Officer (AAO), Justin Rihu.
The government, through the Ministry and Department of Agriculture, continues to distribute free kava cuttings to farmers under its Kava Replanting Programme, to encourage farmers to increase the production of noble kava varieties in Vanuatu.
The island of Pentecost is well- known for mass production of noble kava variety. The AAO for North Pentecost said negotiations with the PENAMA Provincial Agriculture Officer (PAO), Andrew Butu, resulted in the distribution of kava cuttings.
The kava cuttings were distributed last week to farmers during sporting activities leading up to PENAMA Day celebrations this week.
“There were 300 bundles of kava. Each bundle contains 12 cuttings. So far 210 bundles of kava cuttings were given to 210 farmer at Ahivo district.
“I have received a request from Loltong so the left over 90 bundles of kava were provided to farmers there yesterday, Wednesday,” AAO Rihu said.
Mr Rihu stated that after the distribution of kava cuttings to farmers, “monitoring and follow up of progress work by farmers will be done to ensure the distribution of kava cuttings serves its purpose of assisting farmers to increase production and at the same time to ensure after two to three years, we will have more branches or kava cuttings from the 3,000 cuttings”.
The distribution of kava cuttings targeted farmers who do not have huge kava farms but are gradually investing in kava planting.
The kava distribution in Loltong this week involved women, young people and students who intend to invest in kava farming in the future.
“We know that Pentecost has many kava farmers but we wanted to target those who do not have huge kava plantations yet,” Mr Rihu said.
“I have advised the 300 farmers that I will make regular visits to their kava farms to see whether the kava cuttings were planted.
“I encourage the farmers to respect the free services provided by the government and to maintain the good relationship for any future plans.
“In two to three years’ time, I will request kava cuttings from the 300 farmers and get each farmer to provide 12 kava cuttings to me as AAO for North Pentecost, so I can distribute the cuttings to other farmers, to ensure the continuity of the Kava Replanting Programme.”