Vanuatu daily news digest | 20 November 2014

The European Union will help fund three commodities which government has identified within the productive sector. The department is working to "launch" them next year said Radio Vanuatu News this morning: cattle, copra, fruit and vegetable production will be EU asisted. Firstly, beef (cattle) production will be lifted in six provinces which will receive a hundred cattle every three months. The Livestock Department has been in discussion with a commercial farmer to provide this stock and the project will be tested firstly with Paama this year. It is said this will be a trial for the European Development Fund project to start next year. Pasture improvement will also be involved to increase productivity. Erromango, Epi, Malekula and Santo are islands to benefit. Discussions have progressed with a landowner to provide over 4,000 hectres to develop a joint venture trial. In addition, the VNPF has agreed to ship 100 cattle to Tanna to meet supply, presently insufficient there, VBTC added.

Prime Minister Natuman revealed to Parliament on Monday, in his response to the Presidential address opening of the parliamentary sitting, that a consultant is working on a paper which will help promote political stability. Natuman said former prime ministers had undertaken a great deal of work on the topic. A meeting of Parliament will take place in December to further consult on issues of instability with the present MPs. This meeting could lead to constitutional amendments.

Justice Ministry Director General Mark Bebe has echoed complaints of the Judiciary concerning the inexperience of many of the staff in Public Prosecutions. Daily Post quotes him saying that "most of our lawyers [in Prosecutions] are inexperienced, freshly out of school and come directly to work here." They face lawyers who are much more experienced. But Bebe also says plans are in place to tackle the situation. Training in December will be assisted by the association of the Victorian Bar in Australia.

Daily Post also leads with the head of the Malvatumauri having to insist on the re-opening of Lajmoli Airport, North West Santo from where he comes, which strip has had flights to it suspended since 2007 following a plane crash. The people of the area keep the runway clean. The cost of getting even to Luganville for the people of the area is immensely expensive without planes.

PM Natuman met with French President Hollande on Monday at the South Pacific Commission in Noumea. Talks on Climate change in advance of the COP 21 in Paris is the main reason for the high level meeting with Pacific leaders. But also on the agenda were Matthew and Hunter and the French scientific marine research programme. Dailty Post gave the news of the meeting of our head of government with President Hollande but no further information has been revealed yet. Natumnan is also meeting the Chinese President this week and Foreign Minister Kilman is in meetings with Indian PM Narendra Modi in Fiji. India will give USD 75 million to strengthen Fiji’s small and medium sized industries Post tells us today.