The Vanuatu Agriculture College was created in 2005 by an act of Parliament (The Vanuatu Agriculture College Act, NO. 51 of 2005). Originally just teaching livestock, however over the years new courses such as agri-business, horticulture, aquaculture, forestry, communications and IT have been added.
The construction of the college was generously undertaken by the government of the People’s Republic of China as a part of their foreign aid program. Construction on the college started in 2002 and was completed in 2005, with classes beginning in 2007. Additions to the facility have been including a new boundary fence, slaughterhouse, hydroponics greenhouse, fish ponds, to name a few.
Agriculture is deemed to be the backbone of Vanuatu’s economy. It consists of the larger part of the country’s 80% of the population whose livelihood is generated through subsistence agriculture. Despite recognition from the government that agriculture does play an important part, institutional and capacity building still needs developing. Vanuatu Agriculture College among other institutions will continue to implement some of the processes of educating business oriented farmers who can transform subsistence agriculture into commercial production. Whilst maintaining crucial features of Vanuatu’s traditional mixed cropping practices. These methods can be then improvised through research and integrated into small commercial farming enterprises.
The Vanuatu Agriculture College is proud to be the only institution in Vanuatu that provides training that brings young people back to their rural villages and communities, thus curbing the influx of people young and old to the urban centers looking for employment.
The College instills in the minds of ni-Vanuatu farmers that land is a valuable resource that must never be sold cheaply for short term desires. It also instills in the minds of young people enrolled at the College that Farming is a White Collar job to be proud of, and where you can be your own boss. Our young people can train to become Pilots, Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Economists etc… but at the end of the day, we all need food at our tables to survive, and that food is produced by farmers.