Vila Times

Over 500 farmers used Sola Market House in 2019

Over 500 farmers used Sola Market House in 2019
Over 500 farmers used Sola Market House in 2019
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A total number of around 546 market vendors from West and East Vanua Lava and Mota Islands have benefited from the Sola market house generating income for their families in 2019.
The Farm to Table (FTT) programme has improved skills of most farmers, especially farmers at Eastern part of Vanua Lava as indicated by the supply of more agricultural produce recorded by market vendors from Leisara Village. Farmers at this village supplied most of their agricultural produce to the market house valued at around VT1.3 Million in 2019.
Sola Market House (SMH) chairman who is also the Provincial Agriculture Officer (PAO) for TORBA province, Peter Maho, stated, “The Leisara market vendors have then engaged with the Farm to School (FTS) initiative at Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School (BLMS) coordinated by STAP Vanuatu as consultant, Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and other provincial stakeholders to consistently supply local organic produce to BLMS this year due to their positive commitments despite of the challenges encountered through transportation and storage of their produce.”
The yam harvesting season around Mid-July to October in 2019, was the peak season for most farmers on Mota island by which they earned around VT790,000 for their produce being sold at the market house.
Mr Maho says the villages at Western part of Vanua Lava such as Wasaga, Kerebeta, Vureas and Bokrat have improved in marketing their produce to Sola market house around the months of October to November 2019 after the improvement of road conditions by TORBA Public Works Department in 2019.
“The total estimated earnings of farmers at Sola market house from mid-2018 to 2019 was around VT3.3 million.
“The Sola Market House committee and TORBA Department of Cooperative have initiated a cooperative scheme to assist market vendors to save portion of their vatu as shares from their table fees collected as market house revenue to strengthen and improve their challenges when marketing their produce to Sola market house.
“This initiative will motivate farmers to bring in more of their produce to the market house this year.
“The provision of FTT and FTS farming package to interested farmers is to improve their dietary standard at their area council level to control pricing of their produce while surplus of their produce can be marketed internally within the province to schools and main centers at the area councils.”
PAO for TORBA and chairman of SMH, Maho said, “According to the results the Sola market house committee will award individual farmers and villages that supply more quality products and earned more income at the market house this year during the beginning of the financial year.”
The total revenue collected from the table fees was deposited in an account that has two signatories at the National Bank of Vanuatu.
Sola market house committee consists of representatives from the Women’s Affairs, TORBA/Sola Transport Association, Livestock Department, Fisheries Department, Forestry Department, Biosecurity Department, farmers, TORBA Provincial Government, Market House Compliance Officer, BLMS, Department of Cooperatives and DARD.
Mr Maho concluded that the committee needs to appoint more members to the executive to strengthen the function of the market house this year or re-elect new executives as the DARD will only be facilitating the operation of the market house but needs to be operated by a full time manager on salary.
“The market house committee acknowledges the support from VSP who provided assistance in the repainting the SMH and the initiative to provide trainings for our FTT farmers to supply their produce to Sola Market House.” CAPTION: Market vendors arriving with their local produce to sale at Sola Market House