Vanuatu imported cattle at Tenavatu. PhotoAgrikalsa Nius 2013-08 (final).
VANUATU has given its endorsement for Solomon Islands to continue to import cattle, following a successful mission to Port Vila led by Agriculture and Livestock Minister Hon.David Tome in August.
The assurance from Vanuatu’s Agriculture Minister came as livestock and quarantine officials from the two countries completed formalities on the shipment of 450 head of cattle.
Director of Livestock Barnabas Keqa says SBD$1.2 million was paid to the supplier on Santo.
“The cattle we viewed were healthy and aged around 9–10 months.”
The shipment is expected in the country by the end of October and is destined for West Kwaio as part of the Government’s policy to revive cattle in Solomon Islands.
MAL’s Livestock Director Barnabas Keqa says after a period of observation the cattle will be used to breed stock that will be distributed to farmers around Malaita. Hon. Tome’s Vanuatu mission also included a reconciliation ceremony to settle concerns that were raised in Vanuatu over the Solomon Islands 2011 import that was arranged with private buyers.
Under-Secretary (Technical) Jimi Saelea says the trip was successful with the Vanuatu Agriculture Minister giving his assurance that the export of cattle to Solomon Islands would continue unabated with the endorsement of the Government.
“It was important that we set up the channel and ensure that the cattle trade between the two countries would continue.”
Vanuatu has an international reputation for its premium beef industry that Solomon Islands is attempting to tap into in order to revive the national cattle industry. The Solomon Islands cattle industry was affected during the ethnic tension when fighting led to the shutting down of the country’s main cattle stations around Guadalcanal.
In 2011, 400 head of cattle were imported from Vanuatu and were held for observations at Tenavatu in North East Guadalcanal.
The Livestock Department says the cattle will soon be distributed to smallholder farmers towards the end of the year once farmers have facilities in place to look after the cattle.