August 23, 2017 marked another milestone for the Ministry of Tourism, Trades, Industry, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTICNVB) when it officially launched its Department of Industry (DoI) Tafea Provincial Office.

The event coincided with the official handing over the appointment letters of the Tafea Handicraft Industry Working Group (THIWG) members.

Furthermore, in collaboration with the Tourism Department, the Tafea Tourism Investment Guide was officially launched as well on this day at the Agriculture Station in Isangel, Tanna.

In his official speech, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for the MTTICNVB, Joe Natuman, highlighted the importance of decentralization policy of the government in extending its services to be accessible to the people living in the rural areas of Vanuatu.

“Since we have limited resources, partnership is the key for our future success.

“Through teamwork and sharing of resources available, we can upgrade our knowledge and we can achieve our goal to develop the livelihood of the people of Tafea from where it stands today,” reiterated Acting DG Borugu’s statement.

He further stated that by mid-2018, the opening of Tanna cruise port of calls and the upgrading of the Whitegrass Airport to accommodate Boeing 737 aircrafts will attract more tourists to Tafea especially to the Tanna volcano.

He urged the people of Tafea to work together to increase production in local handicrafts and local crops such as potatoes, carrots, onions, coffee, and other fruits and vegetables to meet the upcoming tourist demand in 2018.

He also encouraged local businessmen to joint-partnerships with foreign investors and create local industry associations.

He ended his remarks with an official announcement that the DoI will be launching its Penama Provincial Office in 2018. MP Andrew Napuat, Parliamentary Secretary for Internal Affairs, further stressed the importance of delivering public services through the governance structure of the provincial government provided by the Decentralization Act instead of duplicating new structures.

He stated that the opening of the Department of Industry Tafea Provincial Office is an extension arm of the Government and the Decentralization Act provided that the Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer responsible for coordination of public services in the provinces.

The DoI Tafea Provincial Office serves to provide support in the implementation of specific programs, policies/incentives, strategies and disseminate information on export and imports procedures/requirements and the marketability of specific products within the primary processing industries. It will also facilitate the establishment of cottage, small, medium to large scale manufacturing industries and facilitate market access of value added products in the Tafea province. For the first 12 months, the new established office will focus on:

  • supporting the government initiative of potato, carrot and onion production in Tanna by addressing post-harvest issues along the supply chain and supporting value-addition where there is potential;
  • supporting fisheries sector in partnership with established cooperatives and the Department of Fisheries in facilitating value-addition of fish and marine products with economic and livelihood improvement opportunities
  • supporting the sandalwood industry by assisting farmers, established associations, licensed traders and private enterprises in move into sandalwood processing and value addition instead of exporting chips and logs into oversea markets. There is more unrealised potential in value added processing that rural sandalwood farmers are not getting maximum benefits
  • organising the handicraft sector in Tafea Province to supply the growing tourism industry. Immediate target are the Mystery Island, Entany Company Ltd, Lenakel and Whitegrass Airport. This development will be facilitated in the scope of the Partnership Agreement signed with the Vanuatu Skills for Economic Growth Program supported by DFAT and the MFAT-funded Handicraft Business Development Programme through VSTAP.
  • Support to better organise the industry sector in Tafea province and focussing on developing industries that have growth potential linking the tourism industry such as the famous Tanna Coffee and several others.

In implementing the handicraft sector development priorities in Tafea Province, the Tafea Handicraft Industry Working Group was established to provide a core group of knowledgeable industry experts who can provide business development skills, experience and assistance relevant to the development of the handicraft sector. Appointment letters were handed to various key stakeholders in the handicraft sector such as Tafea TVET, Tafea provincial officers, private sectors and others. On the other hand, the Tafea Tourism Investment Guide is a newly developed guide for tourism operators providing guidance and regulations on establishing new services and products for tourism development.

The Department of Industry is inviting interested farmers, producer organisations, traders, exporters and potential partners to make contact with the Tafea Provincial Office located at Agriculture Station, Isangel, Tanna or talk to Mr. Xavier Nako, Industrial Development Officer – Tafea Province on 5544542, VOIP 8298 or alternatively by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Department looks forward to the development of industrial sector in Tafea Province with the partnership of all stakeholders.

The MTTICNVB further wishes to acknowledge the support and cooperation of the staff of Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock and all local manufacturing industries who participated in making the event colourful and successful.

Source: Daily Post