THE hard-working farmers throughout the Shepherd group will have the opportunity to exhibit their local products at a Mini Agriculture Show to be held in June 2019.
The Senior officers of the Extension and Technical Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) have decided that the Mini Agriculture Show will be hosted on the island of Emae.
“The main theme for this Mini Agriculture Show is ‘Grow Organic, Eat local and Think global,” said Willie Iau, Shefa Provincial Agriculture Officer (PAO).
“According to the Department Business 2019, the Mini Agriculture Show on Emae is part of the preparation towards 2020 National Agriculture Festival on Tanna.
“Emae was chosen to host this Mini Agriculture Show because the island was declared ‘organic island’ by the chiefs of this island, two years ago – all the crops are grown organically.”
The Department of Agriculture has assisted a lot of farmers on Emae in 2018 with planting crops such as yam, kumala, taro, kava, manioc and vegetables.
“The Mini Agriculture Show will evaluate the level of production for farmer and find out whether they can supply high value crops all year round because of the seasonality of crops,” the Provincial Agriculture Officer said.
Participating farmers will be coming from Tongoa, Tongariki, Emae, Makira and Mataso.
“We want to bring all farmers together so they can also have dialogue with each other and share their experiences,” Iau said.
As part of the preparations towards the Mini Agriculture Show, DARD will deploy a team to the island of Emae to provide awareness to local farmers.
The awareness will motivate the farmers to plant short term crops and vegetables to showcase during the Mini Agriculture Show.
Shefa Provincial Agriculture Officer said the Mini Agriculture Show, will provide an avenue for more awareness on the National Agriculture Festival that will be hosted by Tafea province in 2020 as well as informing the farmers on new policy directives and strategies of the department
“Farmers around the Shepherd islands are expected to receive a lot of information and awareness in preparing themselves for the National Agriculture Festival,” Mr Iau sad.
He said the Mini Agriculture Show will also determine the strength and weakness of farmers and the opportunities that they have in participating in national agricultural events.