Shift that Gear:From Micro to Commercial

Photo supplied by H. Aru

One moment we celebrate. The media is present to capture the smiles. The news swamps social and traditional media. Widespread publicity. Then, the next moment we fizzle out and disappear very quietly, never to be seen or heard again. A lot of our past worthy ‘initiatives’ in Vanuatu went down that self-destructive route. Can we turn the tide and create a lasting story of success – at least for once?

In 2015 as DG MALFFB I brought in an expert from Fiji under FAO funding to assist our pineapple farmers, specifically to target our original and authentic Agri-tourism initiative. He developed and introduced a manual for our farmers which they’ve used ever since to grow pineapples, culminating in the pineapples glut in December 2020 which literally rotted at the Federation Manples area in Port Vila. Recently the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) went the exra mile to help with value-addition. Credit to the DARD Director Mr. Antoine Ravo and his team, and the patience of the Pineapple Farmers under Mr. Peter Kolmas’ leadership. Our challenge though is sustainability.

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