Govt says kava exports have rebounded by 345% since Cyclone Pam

Director of Biosecurity Vanuatu Timothy Tumukon reveals that total kava exports for 2015 were valued at just Vt 180 million because of Cyclone Pam. However, in the year following Cyclone Pam, kava export sales soared to Vt 800 million. Monday was the second anniversary of Cyclone Pam’s destruction. Government is helping farmers to plant the best noble varieties for their areas and the rules for product preparation for the international market are being taught.

UMP is seeking a reconciliation between what are understood to be only two factions within the Union of Moderate Parties on Tanna today. Ishmael Kalsakau (Leader of the Opposition) allegedly Read the rest of this entry »


Customs Dept requests roadworthiness compliance extension for older vehicles

A public transport bus passes by Port Vila market house. Photo © Vanuatu Digest

The Customs Department is asking for an extension to the payment period for road tax. Since 31 March is currently the legal deadline, the end of June is being requested. Cyclone Pam enabled a similar extension, and Customs being a Government service one would imagine it is all likely to Read the rest of this entry »

Tanna kastom shines on the Oscars red carpet

Red carpet kastom – directors and cast of Tanna at last night's Academy Awards in Los Angeles, USA. Photo: @tannamovie/Twitter

Red carpet kastom – directors and cast of Tanna at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California USA last night. Photo: @tannamovie/Twitter

Just to have been nominated for an Oscar is still something to celebrate even if Tanna did not win the foreign language film winning category. Iranian film The Salesman has won the category. Nevertheless it generated enough excitement to have a powerful kastom dance from Tanna take over the foyer of the National Convention Centre in Port Vila during live streaming of the Oscars ceremony here yesterday afternoon, where Tanna stars Dain and Wawa were guests of honour. Dain told Len Garae of Daily Post he “never dreamed the movie would make it to Port Vila let alone as far as Hollywood”.

A different kind of Vanuatu matter has also received media coverage in the United States — Read the rest of this entry »

Sandalwood valued at Vt 208 million seized by Customs

Vanuatu sandalwood packed in container. Photo: ©

Six containers of sandalwood allegedly from New Caledonia have been seized by Customs with a claimed value of Vt 208 million. This is big Read the rest of this entry »

Australia set to relax restrictions on Vanuatu kava imports

Australia to allow Vanuatu kava imports again

The big news today is very good news: Australia eases kava restriction, Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu loses distinguished agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa – first ni-Vanuatu with a PhD in science

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Vanuatu has lost leading agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa. He died in hospital in Nouméa this week after a battle with cancer. Dr Vincent Lebot told Radio Vanuatu that the death of Malapa, from Malekula, is a huge loss for the country. He specialised in yam genetics and returned to Vanuatu after completing a PhD in France to create a breeding program to increase the genetic diversity of yams. His work has helped many farmers in the country, said Dr Lebot.

The Prime Minister has declared that there will be no procrastination in the payment of outstanding retirement payments due to former public servants. He made the point in the official launch of Government’s new staffing policy on Tuesday at the National Convention Centre. He said Read the rest of this entry »

Northern Vanuatu’s main hospital cuts services due to staff shortages

Severely understaffed: Luganville's Northern Districts Hospital

Severely understaffed: Luganville’s Northern Districts Hospital

Northern District Hospital is facing an acute staffing shortage. Only some 24 out of 50 contracts issued by hospital management last October have been approved by Read the rest of this entry »