23 Sep 2015

Vanuatu to revive Co-operation Foundation

7:58 pm on 23 September 2015

The Vanuatu Government has resurrected an old organisation to drive rural development.

The Vanuatu Co-operation Federation was once used to push the country's economic development and was a factor in the British and French Governments' agreement on political independence in 1980.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Trade and Cooperatives, Moana Carcasses, says the Federation gradually wound down operations because of a lack of political will to provide training and funding.

Vanuatu opposition leader Moana Carcasses

Vanuatu opposition leader Moana Carcasses Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

But he says he is determined to get it up and going again to provide job opportunities through small to medium enterprises in the islands.

The Director and Registrar of Co-operatives, Ridley Joseph, says he is confident it can be restored to its former success, buying local produce from members and selling it in Port Vila and overseas.

cattle beast

Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

Meanwhile, last week the ministry of agriculture and livestock distributed over 600 head of cattle to the islands of Ambae, Maewo and Pentecost in Penama province following on from distributions in Torba province in June.

The Director General of the Ministry, Haward Aru, says all cattle are heavily subsidised with a young heifer being sold for around $90 USD.

Mr Aru says the aim is to encourage more farmers to go into cattle farming in the country.

"In November we distribute for Malampa, to complete this years distribution stocks, then from there we will move to Tafea early next year. And then over to Shefa. A lot of farmers have heard about that but they have not been able to purchase cattle this time around but they are looking forward to buying cattle."

The government has set an ambitious target of having 500,000 head of cattle spread across Vanuatu by 2025.