Breakthrough For Root Crop Exports

By Kizzy Kalsakau & Anita Roberts

A breakthrough for root crop exports. The government expects to export two more containers of root crops to NZ before the end of this year Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

50 tonnes of taro and manioc on two freight containers will be exported to Auckland, New Zealand (NZ) on Thursday this week as the Government hopes to secure more market opportunities for root crop exports.

20 kilos of coconut cream is also included as a trial export.

Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Trade, Roy Mickey Joy, said this is a milestone for Vanuatu after years of struggle to break through export barriers

This export is realized after NZ has agreed to relax exporting rules.

It is a beginning of value addition of goods and opening up to the outside world markets, starting with NZ and hopefully with other countries like Australia and New Caledonia next, he said.

“We plan to export two more containers of taro and manioc to NZ before end of this year,” said DG Joy.

“There is a demand of organic food in NZ market. We want to do the same with Australia thus, the government must make an effort to ratify the PACER-Plus Agreement to support the facilitation of trade.

“We plan to export more next year. Farmers have been mobilized to start planting to maintain the supply consistency.”

During the export inauguration yesterday, Prime Minister (PM) Bob Loughman has appealed to neighboring countries like Australia and New Caledonia to relax some of their rules for Vanuatu export.

He said the break is an assurance to farmers throughout Vanuatu to continue planting not only taro and manioc but other crops.

The Ministry of Trades, Ministry of Agriculture and the government of NZ are commended for facilitating the export to NZ.

Minister of Trades, James Bule, said there is need to explore more market opportunities and famers to keep growing crops to ensure a constant supply to the markets.

PM Loughman, Trade Minister James Bule and Minister of Agriculture, Willie Daniel took the opportunity during parliament coffee break to attend yesterday’s occasion at the main Wharf where the PM cut the ribbon and saw the loaded containers.

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