SHEFA farmers attending Forum

Group photo. Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

More than 60 farmers from Efate, Epi and the Shepherd Islands are attending a forum hosted by the Vanuatu Primary Producers Authority (VPPA) at Mele village on Efate.

The two-day forum ends today.

This is the third provincial farmer’s forum to be organised by VPPA. The first previous one was held recently on Tanna for TAFEA farmers.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VPPA, Timothy Tumukon, said the purpose of the forum is to talk to farmers or primary producers about the productive sector, areas they are engaged in and improvements necessary.

“The government, through various departments under the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade, is already doing that,” he said.

“We are not overlapping what they are doing but working with them, in synchronizing their activities and to capitalize on the efforts farmers are putting in and be able to sell their produce in the markets.

“The Vanuatu Commodity Marketing Board (VCMB) was established to manage product quality, pricing and export. However, mismanagement issues led it being replaced by VPPA.

“VPPA seeks to improve product and trading system. Also, to provide awareness on pricing and market.”

Tumukon explained that VPPA is operating independently under the structure set by the government, compared to VCMB, which has been politically manipulated.

VPPA aims to register 10,000 farmers throughout the country.

So far, 7, 442 farmers have registered with VPPA.

Of this figure, 2, 217 are from SHEFA, 1, 446 from SANMA, MALAMPA with 1, 636, TAFEA has 1, 180, PENAMA 701 and TORBA with 252.

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