Soil helping sweet potato farming

Tanna island’s volcanic ash continues to give Vanuatu farmers the food they need after Cyclone Pam destroyed the islands in March this year.

Scientific Officer Antoine Ravo says despite the devastating effects of the natural disaster, many farmers have recovered through farming in which they are able to get good harvests of sweet potato and other root crops.

Recently farmers have enjoyed a harvest of high yielding  sweet potatoes  through a field day conducted jointly by the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture and PNG’s NARI.

Farmers harvested sizeable and good quality tubers through a regional project on climate change adaptation in which agricultural diversification, through the introduction of improved crop varieties such as kaukau (sweet potato), cassava, yams and rice was undertaken in the last five years.

Ravo, who is also the country sub-coordinator, said the European Union project helped the Tanna farmers with improved agricultural technologies and farming practices for improved food security and income.

Support in food processing enabled some of the root crops developed into value added products which locals could store for several months and also them sell at higher price to other communities.

Similar supports were provided to two other farming communities  in the country.

By Seniorl Anzu