Unlike many of the island nations of the South Pacific, Vanuatu enjoys considerable land-based resources, fertile soils, and extensive (although declining) forests. Agriculture is one of the most productive sectors, providing for over 25% of the country’s gross domestic product. Copra and cocoa are the cash crops produced, with subsistence emphasis placed on taro and yams. Since much of the agricultural activities practiced across Vanuatu are rainfed, changes in rainfall patterns (including a greater portion of rain falling in intense events, and the increased intensity and duration of the dry season) severely impact agricultural production in the country. The impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector are expected to include reduction in crop yields and damage from cyclonic activity, increases in evapotranspiration, changes in growing seasons and reduction in water availability. There is also growing evidence of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility due to improperly managed deforestation and environmental degradation.
This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.