The Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Russel Tamata, and the Director, Henry Tavoa have launched the Youth Farming Initiative (YFI) Project.

The launching of the project was part of the commemoration of the International Youth Day celebration at the Teouma bush on Efate.

In his official remarks, the President of the Vanuatu National Youth Council (VNYC), Morry Ruben said VNYC has made a lot of effort to ensure that the Youth Act passed in Parliament; a youth policy has already been launched, and now, it is time to engage young people in farming, entrepreneurship, and the productive sector.

Ruben said, “A highlight for this year 2023 is the groundbreaking of the National Youth Farming Initiative project that we will commence on Efate to involve young people of Port Vila municipality and SHEFA province and to later expand to other provinces.

VNYC has partnered with My Life Real Estate with funding support from the Vanuatu National Youth Authority to support young people in commercial farming”.

“As president, I am urging support from the national government, provincial/ municipal government, private sectors, and development partners to continue to support this initiative for young people. We will need our agricultural experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade to help our young people into value added for our farm produce,” Ruben added.

VNYC will continue to work with My Life Real Estate to ensure that this similar project is expanded into other provinces throughout Vanuatu.

Principal Administrator of the VNYC, Joe Kalo said that the YFI project will be a long-term project for the VNYC to engage young people in farming and also slowly minimise the high rate of unemployment in Port Vila.

“The National Youth Farming Initiatives (NYFI) project is initiated by the Vanuatu National Youth Council to promote and actively engage young women and young men including those with disabilities and diverse sexual orientation and gender identity in gaining economic empowerment and to identify actions required by all stakeholders in responding to these issues in the area of the productive and Agri-business Sector”.

Mr. Kalo added that the overall goal of the Project is to improve the livelihoods of Young People and the general population in all 6 Provinces and the 2 Municipalities including engaging young people in the production of sustainable organic food security in Vanuatu and is a viable revenue income string for the Council.

“The YFI will be targeting young people unemployed young people in the urban centers and those having access to land in rural areas to gain meaningful employment and to be able to start a small business,” Mr. Kalo said.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat will soon publish registration forms for interested young people who wish to participate in the project and work with the Port Vila City Youth Council and SHEFA Youth Council to roll out this project.

VNYC extend its heartfelt acknowledgment to all partners who have attended the project launching in Teouma Bush and also acknowledge all other provincial youth councils, youth service providers, and communities who have come together to commemorate that special youth day.