Islanders venture into vanilla with hope

Business

By PETER ESILA
VILLAGERS on Misima Island in Milne Bay are planting vanilla hoping to gain from the market.
Ulaias Simeon, 57, from Awakokuwa village, has about 60 vanilla plants in his backyard.
“While my children and uncles are out diving looking for beche-de-mer, which is good, for me, I am going to dive in my garden when it is time for vanilla.”
Simeon said agriculture officials and mission people who visited the island in the last couple of years were telling the people to grow vanilla because of its high market price.
“We got some training from the Samarai-Murua rehabilitation programme,” he said.
“It was running for some time but it went off again.
“They introduced vanilla, cocoa and spices including vanilla.
“For a start, I planted 60 vanilla plants.
“Farming requires a lot of concentration.
“You cannot just plant and leave it alone and go.
“It is just like local people making their garden so every time they have to attend to clean weeds.
“Likewise with vanilla, we have to clean to the top canopy.”
Another Misima farmer, Ulaias Nelson, from Bwagaoia village is also growing vanilla.
Meanwhile, leading vanilla growing province East Sepik has prices ranging from K200 per kilogramme for A grade beans, K130/kg for B grade beans and K80/kg for C grade beans.
Export prices range from US$280 (K958.27) to US$380 (K1,300.52) per kg.

One thought on “Islanders venture into vanilla with hope

  • If you have the land, make use to plant different cash crops to substitute one another (i.e. vanilla & cocoa) to sustain revenue stream in the even when one cash crop prices drops.

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