13 Dec 2017

Ambae farmers encouraged to seek seasonal work overseas

3:02 pm on 13 December 2017

On Vanuatu's Ambae island farmers who lost their crops during the Manaro volcanic eruption are being encouraged to take up overseas seasonal work.

Vanuatu struggling with Ambae mass evacuation

The Manaro volcanic eruption Photo: RNZ / YouTube

The volcanic eruption has been reduced to Level 2 but crops such as taro and kava were destroyed by ash fall and farmers will be without any source of income for at least a year.

A team from the International Labour Organisation is visiting the island and its spokesman, Bernard Edward, said they wanted to encourage eligible people from devastated areas to join seasonal work programmes in New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile the acting commissioner of labour in Vanuatu, John Tasso, said there had been a significant increase in the numbers already involved in the overseas schemes.

He said 4,155 ni-Vanuatu had been involved in New Zealand's Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme this year.

That was up 13 percent on 2016.

And the commissioner said in the Australian Seasonal Workers Program ni-Vanuatu numbers had soared in 2017, nearly doubling to 2,150.

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