Vanuatu launches "Cash for Beetle" campaign to ensure food security

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 27, 2023
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SUVA, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Department of Biosecurity (DOB) in Vanuatu will soon purchase Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles (CRBs) as part of a new campaign to control its spread for the sake of food security there, according to Vanuatu's Daily Post on Thursday.

The "Cash for Beetle" campaign will encourage locals to collect adult and larvae beetles in exchange for cash payments.

Adult beetles will be purchased for 30 Vanuatu vatu each, or about a quarter U.S. dollar, while CRB grubs, including pupa, will be bought for 120 Vanuatu vatu per kilogram.

Armstrong Sam, director of the DOB, emphasized the impact that the CRB can have on Vanuatu's economy and food security, saying that the pest not only destroys the tropical island scenery, but also affects the livelihoods of farmers and the general public.

Vanuatu's economy is primarily agricultural, as 80 percent of the population is engaged in farm activities that range from subsistence farming to smallholder farming of coconuts and other cash crops.

He urged the local community to join forces with the government, growers, non-government organizations, industry groups, and donor partners to ensure that the CRB is controlled and managed, allowing coconut palms to continue providing for the current and future generations.

The campaign, which begins this week and ends on June 10, aims to strengthen the DOB's efforts to control the spread of the CRB by providing local communities with the opportunity to earn cash by catching and providing live CRBs. Enditem

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