Vila Times

Young Farmers Development Course Introduced at Vaiduhu Vocational Training Centre, East Malo

Young Farmers Development Course Introduced at Vaiduhu Vocational Training Centre, East Malo
Young Farmers Development Course Introduced at Vaiduhu Vocational Training Centre, East Malo
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The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)’s visit to Vaiduhu Vocational Training Centre (VVTC ) recently at Nalifukai Vanua, East Malo, was in line with DARD’s initiative to encouraging collaborations with private sectors and Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) to work together in implementing government policies, strategies and business plan under agriculture department through a partnership service agreement contract. .
“This is to encourage a better relationships and partnership with private sectors, or training centres like Vaiduhu, even churches who without doubt perform some very important functions and duties that are noted by the Government of Vanuatu through DARD,” DARD Director, Antoine Ravo, stated.
Director Ravo said “This visit aims to gather information to see how DARD could work with VVTC through projects opportunities and programmes through a partnership service agreement that the two institutions could collaborate on.
“DARD’s 2020 Business Plan included a list of crops with their targets that we have to achieve before the end of this year. The government provides financial support in order to reach those targets.
“The government depends on private sectors, schools and church to assist DARD to achieve its national targets in particular production of food and cash crops.
VVTC was established in 1999 with the introduction of courses like Building construction, Tourism and Business.
Since 2017, a new course referred to as Young Farmers Development was inserted and accredited courses delivered include Certificate one in Agriculture and Certificate two in building construction.
Moli Henry who is the founder of the training centre said “The main purpose of setting up VVTC was to provide an opportunity for young people on Malo who do not undergo formal education and are in the communities to gain training that will assist them in their living.
“Our main focus now is building construction and agriculture, embracing the Fijian Tutu concept where young people are trained in farming as business and returned to their communities to apply what they have learned periodically throughout the course of training.
VVTC Manager, Rexon Moli, said “Our pathway for young people enrolled in Certificate two (Building and construction) is that after having achieved their certificate, it will give them the opportunity for direct entry to Vanuatu Institute of Technology should they wish to further their studies and for those enrolled in Certificate one in Agriculture, will require that they go through Matahi Rural Training Centre next before entering Vanuatu Agriculture College.
“The aim of the FijianTutu programme is to develop young people in agriculture and help them build their financial support while still in training to equip them financially as they return to their communities to improve their livelihood.
Bani Timbaci, trainer of young farmers’ development course said that under the Tutu programme, land is divided to allocate space for the young people to grow crops as required under the young farmers development course for practical applications.
“Land is sub-divided into 10 by 25 meter plots for each young people to grow vegetables with support from Farm Support Association (FSA).
“Since VVTC started, the first graduation took place in 2019 where five young farmers successfully completed the training on young farmers’ development course.
Trainer Timbaci continued that “The young farmers were mandated under the training course to grow 400 round cabbages, 200 tomatoes and 200 capsicums in the plots allocated to them.
“These local produce were sold at the Luganville market house and the money earned were deposited in students savings account at the bank.
“Bank books were kept by the training centre until the graduation day when the five students received both their certificates and bank books.
“The highest amount of money saved was over VT 200,000 and the lowest was over VT 100,000.
“The target of this programme is for each student to earn over a VT 100,000 plus at the end of the training.
“The total amount earned by the five young farmers was VT 1.3 Million.
Students alternately spend two weeks in the centre and two weeks in the village throughout their training period which is a two years training session.
“In the village, the young farmers have targets to achieve by growing yams, pineapples and peanuts and using the capital they have earned to continue to invest in agriculture and their trainers do follow up monitoring to ensure they put progress on their targets.
Director for DARD, Antoine Ravo, said it was very interesting to note some positive results and achievements that VVTC has produced “DARD’s interest is how we can work in partnership to increase five students to a higher number of students involved in Farming as a business.
“We want to see some changes, gradually we want to inspire young people’s interest to invest in agriculture.
“We want to encourage young people to till their land and see agriculture as a business in their lives, providing employment to improve their livelihood in the future,” Director Ravo concluded. Source: DARD (CAPTION: DARD Team and Nalifukai Vanua community- Vaiduhu Vocational Training Centre)