Lead farmers in North West Efate and Epi learning the concepts of commercial farming

During the last month the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted Agri-Business training in Efate island (Malafau village) from 16th to 19th April and Epi island from 29th to 3rd of May in commercial farming practices. The VCCI organized and implemented the Agribusiness training program to selected lead farmers and agri -preneurs.

The main objective of the workshop was to show the farmers how to increase their production by using the commercial farming systems and rotation systems . Other objectives included showing the farmers how to practice proper harvesting , processing, drying, packaging and labelling.

In Malafau, 15 leading farmers and agri-preneurs (representing 2,200 farmers in North West Efate) attended the 4 day workshop. This was organised by the VCCI, the Shefa Provincial Council and the Chairman of Malafau Council, Mr Jimmy Ben.

Francois Kavirere, VCCI Senior Agribusiness Project Officer emphasized on an increase of production of root crops and farming management techniques as well as the financial management of a farm.

He added, “To solve the problem of quality in the market, the idea to set up a Quality Check Point in the local market structure was discussed. This Quality Check Point would help organise the community by monitoring the quality of product and buying their quality farm crops.”

In Epi ,36 leading farmers and agri-prenurs attended the 4 day workshop. The participants were mostly kava and root crop leading farmers as well as retail shop owners and local bakery owners. The workshop was organised by the VCCI, the Agriculture Officer in Epi and the Area Secretary for West Epi.

Alick Berry, VCCI Agribusiness Manager, stressed on the importance of understanding the commercial farming concepts learnt during the training program and putting them into practice by starting small, and building the skills up slowly to achieve targets.

The 2013 VCCI Agribusiness Training Program is currently being conducted to farmers in Tanna. The VCCI has already visited Central Pentecost, Gaua and Maewo this year.

The program has been running every year since 2003. This year it is funded by Pacific Fund or Fonds Pacifique and this funding is operated by the French Development Agency or Agence Française de Dévelopment (AFD).

For any questions or further information, please feel free to contact Alick Berry, VCCI Agribusiness Manager on 27543, ext 13.

Practical session in a Kumala plot in Epi
Practical session in a Kumala plot in Epi

Commercial leading farmers in Malafau Village, Efate
Commercial leading farmers at the opening of their Workshop in front of their Nakamal in Malafau Village, Efate