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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PM Kilman: Agricultural Sector Underutilized In Vanuatu
Government launches new productive sector policy

By Thompson Marango

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 20, 2013) – Despite being an agriculture-based society and nation, Vanuatu is yet to fully explore the potential of the agriculture sector.

According to Prime Minister, Sato Kilman this may lead to generating broad-based growth to increase employment, income and the overall wellbeing of the nation.

Kilman recently stated that agriculture’s share of GDP is estimated to be about 20%, although the figure may be understated due to the fact that subsistence production may be largely ignored in this calculation.

Therefore the Government under the newly launched Overarching Productive Sector Policy, with technical support from the Vanuatu National Statistics Office is currently conducting a survey on subsistence agriculture production to determine the fair share to the national gross domestic product.

"A large proportion of our population, both rural and urban, depends very much on this sector for its livelihood and food security," said the Prime Minister when launching the Overarching Productive Sector Policy last week.

"As such, the government has a crucial role to play in defining a policy and institutional framework which both enables and encourages good participation from all stakeholders," he added.

Through the Overarching Productive Sector Policy developed with joint effort from Vanuatu Government, European Union, AusAID, and NZAID, Vt288,000,000 [US$3.1 million] has been allocated to the Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture to boost the delivery of critical public goods in the agriculture sector.

The launching of the new policy has been referred to by the Prime Minister as another important milestone in Vanuatu’s development history and an achievement that reflects the European Union – Vanuatu Government partnership.

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