30 Vanuatu Breeding Cattle Die During Boat Trip To Tanna

Government looks to grow beef industry through National Cattle Restocking Programme

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Nov. 1, 2016) – Director of Livestock Department, Lonny Bong wishes to assure all farmers on Tanna that their cattle will be replaced at the earliest opportunity, after over 30 died during the 30-hour boat trip from the North in choppy weather last week.

A total of 216 breeding cattle destined for Port Resolution were released instead at Lenami Beach at Lenakel last Friday due to bad weather. A further 148 heads will be delivered to Louanpakel on North Tanna for offloading on Black Beach later this week.

Instead of dwelling on the tragedy, the Director of Livestock says God controls the weather and a vital lesson has been learned, to allow the cattle a couple of days rest on a nearby farm to regain their strength, before they continue on their journey.

Director General of MALFFB, Howard Aru, wishes to thank the Director and his team, especially star Livestock Officers Stevenson Boe and Victor Tari, for putting up with the weather from Santo in the North down to Tanna in the South.

Meanwhile Director Bong is reported to be planning weekly visits to small holder farmers saying the visits are vital to listen to farmers’ grievances, and to discuss possible solutions as well as to encourage them to shift from current production level to semi-commercial.

The National Cattle Restocking Programme is a Government initiative for farmers to increase the number of cattle to 500,000 by 2025.

To achieve the goal, the Government is supplying the breeding herds to farmers at subsidised costs.

Despite the biggest loss on the last trip down South, farmer Manson Taridenga of North East Ambae says, “I am one of those who purchased five heads from the delivery at Lolowai last year. Since then my small farm has increased by two healthy calves and I am a firm believer of this policy. It is working and a Government survey team has already been to my farm and they are happy and I am happy.”

Vanuatu Daily Post
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