Historic Vanuatu Agri-Tourism Festival Kicks Off

Three-day event meant to 'to empower small-scale entrepreneurs'

By Harrison Selmen

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 9, 2016) – Vanuatu’s historic 3-day Agri-Tourism Festival has kicked off in the capital.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trades, Joe Natuman, officiated the opening yesterday, witnessed by Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremiah, Ambassador to EU, Roy Mickey Joy, government ministers, private sector, farmers and the public.

There were displays and sales of local produce and products as well as local food-tasting which began straight after the key note speeches.

As people were moving from stall to stall to see the displays, the smell of Tanna Coffee filled the air and many rushed to get their first taste of this locally-produced coffee.

The event was the first of its kind to be held in Vanuatu with the aim of creating a linkage between agriculture and tourism to empower small-scale entrepreneurs in Vanuatu to maximize the economic value added of their produce and products to increase livelihoods and improve living standards.

DPM Natuman says the event is all about agriculture meeting tourism and is a unique experience that combines traditional agriculture with tourism to provide aesthetic enjoyment for the tourists as well as economic benefit for the local farmer. These activities help to sustain the local farmer and help to keep more farmers working in our lands.

“Agri-Tourism is one of the fastest growing sector in the Country, regionally and the World.

“In Vanuatu the Agri-Tourism is still in its early stage for development but has the potential to grow if we develop our Agri-Tourism strategies.”

Natuman said the Agri-Tourism week is also a priority to be included in the Governments 100-day plan.

Director General (DG) for Agriculture, Howard Aru, said the Agri-Tourism idea is not new because hotels, businesses and restaurants are already involved in the activity to purchase local produce but not at the quantity and level expected.

He said since July last year in Nadi it became a huge realization that Vanuatu is way behind in terms of advocating and promoting Agri-Tourism.

Around 5 media reporters from the SPC (Pacific Community) are covering the event live via twitter with over 5 to 10 million followers from the ACP countries that are likely to follow the event.

The event will continue today and tomorrow with sales of products and first-hand information provided to the public on the different sectors in agriculture and tourism.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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