The Vanuatu Government has allocated around Vt12 million in a coconut tree planting scheme, as part of the investment after cyclone Pam, in March of 2015. It is estimated that this investment will purchase around 52,000 seedlings and root stock plants.
This initiative has been spearheaded by the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Center (VARTC) in Santo, where the stock has been carefully selected and then shipped to Shefa and Tafea as part of the Cyclone Pam Recovery Project under the Vanuatu National Coconut Strategy starting 2016 and expected close in 2025.
The aim is to have distributed 1 million seedlings by the finish of the project. The Minister for Agriculture, Matai Seremaiah, who launched the Program, says he is confident there will be positive outcome to this joint initiative with the Vanuatu Government and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Minister Seremaiah made it quite clear in his statement “I want the farmers who will be receiving the nuts to plant them and look after them because the government has invested in the program and we want to make sure the farmers do their part,”
Copra together with cocoa and kava comprise approximately 60% revenue towards the National Economy. The current copra price stands at around Vt60, 000 per ton.