NATION

Vanuabalavu Farmers Advised On Food Security

Farmers in the island of Vanuabalavu have been urged by the Ministry of Agriculture to make use of the remaining planting materials for long-term food stability. This follows the devastation
14 Mar 2016 10:48
Vanuabalavu Farmers Advised On Food Security
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Farmers in the island of Vanuabalavu have been urged by the Ministry of Agriculture to make use of the remaining planting materials for long-term food stability.

This follows the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Winston on the island where officials carried out assessments and recorded a 90 per cent crop damage in cassava, yams and plantation.

Natural Disaster Management Office (NDMO) officer Jone Saunicolo said: “After the assessment, we have been advising farmers in all the villages to start replanting while waiting for Government assistance.

“There is not much left but while waiting for the next phase of assistance, these farmers can slowly utilise crops that are partially damaged,” he said.

“Agriculture officers are visiting villages and advising farmers and families on food security after the cyclone.”

Muamua Village headman Viliame Finau said the villagers would start working together for food stability.

“The cyclone devastated our farms completely including livestock with only a few crops left which will take time to grow and for now we are eating from damaged crops which won’t last long,” he said.

“We have discussed and divided the villagers in groups for us to start work on the farms and feed our families for the time being.”

In addition, damage to the agricultural sector on the island include the desolation of the staff quarters and the office stationed in Mualevu.

With the total damage to the main commodities including pandanus (voivoi), which is the island’s main income generator; and copra was also greatly affected.

“We have always relied on copra here on the island as a source of income, at present there is a shortage so we will have to look elsewhere and replanting will take a while,” Mr Finau said.

The Ministry of Health, iTaukei Affairs and Police were also part of the team that visited the island of Vanuabalavu.

Source: DEPTFO News

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