|The Farm Support Association is providing farmers with training to help them become self-sufficient.|
- Headquarters: Port Vila
- Founding date: 1983
- Mission: Farmers helping farmers
Following independence from the British and French on 30th July 1980, cattle farms, coconut and cocoa plantations and leased lands were given back to landowners.
The Plantation Support Association (PSA) was established to address the needs of these new landowners who became farmers overnight. A training centre was set up on Efate with funds from the government and EU. It focused mainly on training rural workers how to manage a farm, for example with its apprentice scheme targeting school leavers. The PSA changed its name to the Farmers Support Association in 1983 to reflect changes in plantation ownership changes.
In 1993 FSA partnered with Venui Vanilla from Italy. This was the beginning of FSA’s work with spices and organics. In 2010, FSA was selected as National organics focal point for Vanuatu and by 2011, FSA was providing services for up to 300 Vanilla farmers, including inspections, internal audits of certified farmers, and selling to Venui Vanilla.
The FSA's goal
Under the banner of 'farmers helping farmers', to make a substantial contribution to the enhancement of environmentally sustainable agriculture in Vanuatu.
To help farmers:
- adopt new, better, appropriate, and environmentally sustainable farming technologies
- build and maintain a first rate team of agricultural extension advisors
- produce more and better both food and commercial products
- raise the standing of farming as a profession
Achieve sustained material increases in:
- rural household incomes;
- import substitution and/or export of agricultural produce;
- production of high value commodities.
FSA in action:
FSA support agricultural training in Rural Training Centres in Malekula, Epi, Pamma and Tanna. Their programmes include an organics spice network, Vetiver grass (for erosion control), vegetables, a working horse programme, poultry and planting materials. FSA has a very close open relationship with the Department of Agriculture. More on FSA's work.