Farmers need to connect with buyers in the tourism industry

Food and drinks are critical facts that determine the choice of destination for many tourists. This applies also to tourists that visit the Pacific, according to the Hilton (2014) survey of travelers which says that 36 percent of tourists interviewed chose their holiday destination based on food and drinks on offer. Vanuatu is the only country in the Pacific with an agri-tourism policy that recognises the link between agriculture and tourism. Its focus is on growing more local produce and encouraging hotels and restaurants to use local foods on their menu in the hope that it will eventually decrease their fresh food import bill. At the opening of the First Pacific Week of Agriculture in Port Vila this week, Vanuatu’s minister for agriculture emphasised his government’s support for local farmers including mechanisation of farms to increase yields. Minister Matai Seremaih said under the agri-tourism policy government will also assist with market access for farmers until such time they have the resources to be able to market their own produce. This is one of the areas the Pacic Agriculture Policy Programme (PAPP) is working on to bridge the gap between farmers and their markets. PAPP Team leader, Vili Caniogo told PACNEWS often time, farmers get blamed for lack of supply and poor quality of products. He said hotels and other stakeholders need to be forthcoming on what they want to help farmers plan ahead. “In fact what farmers need is crop information from hotels and restaurants on what local produce they want and when the supply should be ready. At the same time, farmers need to be organised and operate like a business venture if they want to be taken seriously as suppliers to major hotels and restaurants.

Source & More Info: Loop Vanuatu

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