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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Vanuatu Agritourism Festival 2016

Vanuatu hosted its first ever Agritourism Festival from 9-11th November at the Agriculture Complex- Tagabe, in the capital city of Port Vila. Agriculture and food production are critical to Vanuatu’s prosperity and welfare: for food security and job creation. Given that animal, vegetable and other food products equate to over 82% of the island’s economy, Vanuatu boasts rich agricultural resources. Yet, the country is still heavily reliant on imports, which in 2011 amounted to over 280 million USD (more than four times the amount of exports). Vanuatu, like many other Pacific Island nations, relies on cheap, calorific and low nutritional food imports from the USA and Australasia. This has created a food crisis in the Pacific region which has seen an increase in the rate of diet-related diseases. Obesity rates in the Pacific are among the highest in the world: a staggering 68% of Vanuatu’s population is considered overweight and nearly 20% of adults in the country suffer from diabetes (only surpassed by Nauru with 24.5%). Resolving this economic and food crisis will not only depend on mobilizing Vanuatu’s agriculture, but also its tourism sector. Vanuatu’s tourism revolves around a large network of restaurants, hotels, resorts and cruise ships. This sector equates to 36% of its GDP. A thriving tourism sector coupled with rich land resources makes Vanuatu the perfect location to promote linkages between farmers and tourist outlets.

Source: chefs4dev.org