Leaders of Torba province, Vanuatu, plan to introduce legislation within the next two years, banning the import of western foodstuffs in favour of home-grown produce.
Changes are already underway. Local chiefs have backed Father Luc Dini, head of the local tourism council, in ordering tourism providers to serve only locally grown, organic food.
Torba also plans to become Vanuatu’s first organic province.
Father Dini emphasised the health benefits of local seafood and fruits, compared to imported rice, sweets, tinned fish and biscuits.
There is also an implication for local livelihoods: the majority of Torba’s population of 10,000 are subsistence farmers. The protectionist move, combined with the emphasis on organic farming, safeguards their income, while protecting the ecosystem from chemicals and the islanders from sugar.