15 Nov 2016

Vanuatu's push for more commercial crops

7:37 pm on 15 November 2016

In Vanuatu there are signs that encouraging people to eat locally produced foods are working.

The government wants people to grow and eat locally produced food to help reduce non-communicable diseases and cut reliance on imports.

As part of this push a farmer from Epi Island is farming more onions than ever before to sell to companies that usually depend on imports from Australia and New Zealand.

Vanuatu onion farmer

Vanuatu onion farmer Photo: Nambo Moses

Nambo Moses of the Ministry of Agriculture says the farmer taught himself how to grow onions which he is aiming to sell to importer Au Bon Marche in Port Vila.

The Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Howard Aru, says this is a breakthrough because traditionally farmers do not think outside the box but plant onl;y to feed their families.

Mr Aru says what the government wants to see are farmers planting commercial farms of organic onions, potatoes and carrots.