Yam festival to celebrate varieties, not size: Director

Yam festival to celebrate varieties, not size: Director

Director of Agriculture, Antoine Ravo, says it is a wrong mentality to imagine that a yam festival is about planting the longest or biggest yam.

Snake Yam, Ambae, Republic of Vanuatru
Snake Yam, Ambae, Republic of Vanuatru

Instead he says it is an event to celebrate the abundance of different varieties of yams to contribute towards food security.

As the Minister of Agriculture, Matai Seremaiah points out that there are eight species of yam in the country and over 300 varieties; soft yams and hard yams and they all contribute to food security.

Ambae Bilingual School received the first prize for planting the heaviest wovile of almost 10 kilo on the scale.

A farmer from West Ambae received first prize for the longest yam and the list goes on about the winners of round yam including some which you have never heard their names before.

Perhaps one of the most difficult yams to dig is the “snake yam” which literally looks snake-ish.

A farmer from North East Ambae who did not take part in the Penama Yam Festival was reported to have successfully planted a yam called “tumasi” and could not carry the whole yam home due to its weight so he had to sever only what which his family could prepare for one meal.

Many farmers regretted not taking part in the largest yam festival in the country and they are encouraged to plan ahead to plant their crops for the possibility of taking part in the next yam festival on another island in another province.

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