The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in SANMA province has embarked on a mass distribution of kava planting materials to farmers in Santo and Malo commencing on February 2019.
This distribution was done through a partnership agreement signed between the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) through the Department of Agriculture, and Beleru Farm to supply kava cuttings.
The signing agreement is part of MALFFB’s policy directives to continue to strengthen the participation of private sector within agriculture sector through long and short- term contracts.
MALFFB has been promoting public private partnership approach therefore this signing agreement is an important milestone for the ministry and especially the Department of Agriculture, as this year, DARD’s national target for kava is one million kava seedlings to be distributed to farmers for planting, thus, increasing kava production in Vanuatu.
“The kava restocking program in SANMA has targeted farmers who are interested in planting kava but have difficulties to access kava cuttings,” said Italio Bororoa, DARD officer in Santo, who coordinated the distribution of kava cuttings.
The SANMA DARD has been distributing the cuttings of noble varieties of kava since February 2019 and will continue until 2020.
Mr Bororoa said “most farmers who have shown a lot of interest were from East Santo. Interested farmers access these kava cuttings through the Assistant Agriculture Officers (AAOs) in their respective areas.
A total of 95 farmers have had access to kava cuttings from February to Friday August 9 2019, and the distribution is still ongoing.
A total of 19,160 branches of kava or kava cuttings were distributed to interested farmers in Santo and Malo Island so far. Source: DARD (Photo:Kava cutting preparation in Beleru farm. Photo: DARD)