16 Nov 2015

Long wait for Vanuatu coffee farmers

5:37 pm on 16 November 2015

Coffee farmers on the island of Tanna whose crops were destroyed by Cyclone Pam in March are facing a long wait till their next crop is ready for harvest.

Some whose coffee plants survived the cyclone are hoping for a good harvest next year while others will not see a single coffee bean until 2018.

A joint intiative completed in August by UNDP, Vanuatu's agriculture and provincial authorities and Tanna Coffee aimed to help revive the industry by providing clearing and pruning assistance to badly damaged coffee farms all over the island.

Benson Samuel of Tanna Coffee says farmers on the island are grateful for the assistance but still face a long wait till their next harvest.

Mr Samuel says they are also concerned about protecting their crops from future cyclones.

"We are looking to grid inter-cropping so that it could assist when we have cyclones such as Pam or Uma. I still think that we should seek a lot more expertise so that they can give more awareness on what we can do to secure our coffee trees."