First of all, I would like to express our warm welcome to those of you who travel to Vanuatu from abroad specifically for this mission. We are pleased to have you here in Vanuatu hope your mission will enrich our deliberation, create connections and engagement with various stakeholders (especially farmers and the private sector ).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry Fisheries & Biosecurity through the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development mandate is to promote improved and resilient agricultural innovations to increase production and farm incomes ( through specific commodities namely Kava, Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee and Species) as well as meet food security needs (root crops, Fruits and vegetables) of our people.
One of the key priority objectives for economic investment in Vanuatu is to see Agriculture sector as the leading domestic and foreign direct investment option through joint-venture operation between foreign investor and locals in the agriculture sector; encourage outsourcing or privatisation services of agricultural inputs and plant materials centres to enhance wider access to seeds, seedlings, tools and appropriate machineries that could be easily done by the private sector or services that are commercially viable; expanding opportunities for agricultural trade facilitation and marketing of agricultural products; transportation of agricultural products to main market centres; establishment of value adding processing plant (factories) creating employment opportunities for the rural; investment in infrastructure that is placed in economically strategic locations associated with marketing of produce further resulting in high production; and venturing into the Agritourism industry.
In the process of development, The Ministry of Agriculture is embarking on a reform program in modernizing its agricultural extension and rural advisory services to empower farmers and build resilient communities for sustainable development; setting up of the Vanuatu Farmers Associations (VFA) to facilitate and assist farmers to access market information, provide logistical support, coordinate farmer activities in order to improve, strengthen and sustain the supply side and also to provide support to farmers organization for the purpose of increasing production; established seed centres and machinery centres for mass production of agriculture; replanting of coconut plantations; rehabilitation of cocoa plantation; restocking of noble kava varieties; established warehouses and cool rooms within the provinces for use by the agriculture producers. Establishing these facilities will certainly increase the production of agriculture produces in the provinces and islands; advocate for more support to research and development in crop improvements and new crops; and improve energy supply for food and agriculture towards technology innovation are some element of the reform that the ministry of agriculture will be undertaking.
Finally to conclude, on behalf the of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries & Biosecurity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organising committee for recognizing the importance of agriculture as one of the key sector of investment option in our country and we look forward to a strong partnership in this economic mission for the benefit of our people.
Thank you for your attention!