Agriculture and incomes

Oxfam focuses on three areas of work: organics, income generation and capacity building. We work with our partner organisation, Farm Support Association (FSA).

FSA is helping to raise the standard and appeal of farming as a profession and increase household incomes by empowering  farmers to adopt effective, sustainable practices. They help farmers produce higher volumes of better quality food and commercial products, substituting imported goods with local varieties. A major focus of FSA’s work is encouraging farmers to grow crops for export, in particular high value spices such as ginger and vanilla.

FSA also works with Oxfam’s partner the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centres Association (VRDTCA) to provide agricultural training.  VRDTCA runs rural training centres and in four of which FSA is training young people in how to grow organic spices, vegetables and vetiver grass for erosion control. 

Organics

Oxfam helps spice farmers to achieve and keep organic certification. By improving their growing practices, yields and incomes are increasing. We provide young people pushed out of the school system with the practical skills they need to earn a living through growing and selling organic crops.

  • Vocational skills training including organic practices for pest control, seed saving and weeding
  • Regular quality control and monitoring visits where FSA staff meet with farmers to advise on composting, pruning, pollination and plot maintenance
  • Stewarding organically certified farmers to keep their annual certification
  • Assisting farmers to produce new spice crops to help boost their income.

In depth: Organics training

Income generation

  • Oxfam supports the development of small income generating opportunities by providing money to establish women’s microfinance and loan schemes.
  • This enables women to set up small produce and livestock cooperatives such as vegetable growing, piggeries or chicken flocks and sell their produce to neighbouring communities. The women reinvest the income into the business and use it to buy essentials like medicine and soap.
  • FSA also teach farmers how to make animal feeds, saving them money that can be invested into developing their business

Capacity building

Oxfam is helping FSA develop into a robust organisation. This will strengthen the long-term impact of FSA’s work. We are doing this by sharing expertise and resources, including financial management systems, developing publications and hosting skills workshops.

Impact

  • FSA has reached over 300 organic rural farmers.
  • Oxfam is helping the agricultural sector transition from subsistence to small scale market-oriented farming.
  • Thousands of young Ni-Vanuatu now have practical skills that they can use to support themselves and their families for the long term