Farm Support Association

Farm Support Association

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Background

The lean organisation known today as FSA grew out of an earlier group, the Plantation Support Association (PSA).  PSA was set up in 1983 with aid and national development support funds to assist ni-Vanuatu landowners to run plantations returned to them when Independence was declared.  By 1992, circumstances had changed and in response PSA became FSA and its emphasis shifted to providing for the needs of small-scale farmers.

The FSA goal, which has been refined over the years, has become ‘Under the banner of “farmers helping farmers”, make a substantial contribution to the enhancement of environmentally sustainable agriculture in Vanuatu’.

Core business

FSA generates its income through the provision of services in support of Vanuatu’s agricultural sector.  FSA offers a wide range of experience and technical expertise to its clients in the areas of:

  • Land rehabilitation – Particularly the use of vetiver grass for erosion control
  • Sustainable farming systems – Integrated Pest Management (IPM), composting, cover crops, alley cropping, sloping agriculture
  • Root crop production
  • Agroforestry
  • Spices – particularly vanilla and pepper
  • Organics (including design and management of internal control systems)
  • Vegetable production
  • Poultry
  • Pigs and other small animal husbandry
  • Cattle
  • Rural enterprise development

Membership

FSA regards all farmers and organisations participating in its programmes, as members. At present, these include some 500 farmers listed in the spice network database and almost 200 with small-scale poultry operations, together with those involved in lesser programmes.  The total is about 750.  But there are also organisations which at present include 11 Rural Training Centres (RTCs) and seven women’s groups in villages.

Activities

FSA has carried out a wide-range of projects and activities over the years in support of its members and clients.  Recent projects include:

  • GEF-UNDP funded project Vetiver Grass Projects (2009 – 2011)
  • Increasing Rural Incomes Through Farming Innovations (IRI) (2008- 2011)
  • AGS/FAO Fruit & Vegetable Marketing Action Plan to Enhance the Capacity of FSA to assist member farmers to market fruits and vegetables (2009 -2011)
  • Organic Agricultural Certification for Small Holder Groups: an Internal Control service Offered by Farm Support Association (1998 & on-going)
  • Provision of extension services to Venui Vanilla growers (1996 & on-going).
  • Training inputs to TVET – Technical Vocational Education and Training Strengthening Program (2000 – ongoing).

 

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