Incubator for Vanuatu research centre

The Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Technical Centre (VARTC) in Santo, Vanuatu, has received a 432-egg capacity small poultry egg incubator from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vanuatu on March 28 2013. The incubator will be used to produce village chicks for distribution to participating farmers at three project sites at Siviri and Malafau on Efate and Middlebush on Tanna Islands.

Director of DARD shaking hands with Dr. Roger Malapa, acting CEO of VARTC (right) during the incubator presentation in Vanuatu this week

Director of DARD shaking hands with Dr. Roger Malapa, acting CEO of VARTC (right) during the incubator presentation in Vanuatu this week

This was part of the five year research project aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change on food security and livelihoods in vulnerable areas of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu that was launched in Port Moresby, PNG, on March 10 2011.

The project has since been implemented in Solomon Islands. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Solomon Islands, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vanuatu and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

The specific objective is to improve the food production capacity of smallholder farming communities in areas where precipitation deficits, excess soil moisture and soil salinity problems are becoming significant threats to agricultural production and productivity. Apart from small livestock development, the project has components on crop improvement, soil fertility management and water management.

NARI will provide practical training to VARTC and DARD technicians on the set up and management of the incubator. VARTC will also receive an operational budget of about Vatu550,000 from the project and supply chicks to the project on cost recovery basis.

VARTC has a small village chicken breeding unit that will produce fertile eggs to hatch in the incubator. The incubator will be set up at its head quarters in Santo.

The Chief Guest of this handing over ceremony was Livo Mele, Director of DARD. Senior executives and scientists of VARTC as well as the Provincial office of DARD are also in attendance.

The total cost of procurement and shipment of this incubator was about Vatu450,000 (Four hundred and fifty thousand Vatu). This project is financed by the European Union, which provided a research grant of Euro2.93 million, to finance 80% of the direct costs of the project over its five year implementation period. The National Agricultural Research Institute of Papua New Guinea contributed the matching 20% of the project costs.

More information on this can be obtained from: VARTC, Dr. Roger Malapa; Ph: 5346795; Email: malapa.roger@vanuatu.com.vu

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