A TOTAL of 11,900 sweet potato cuttings are being distributed by the Agriculture Department to Northern families whose food sources were affected by Cyclone Evan.
Senior northern agricultural officer Kanito Matagasau said that in Macuata 10 villages would be given planting materials while four villages in Cikobia would receive the kumala cuttings as part of government's assistance to affected farmers.
Mr Matagasau said kumala was chosen over other crops because it took a short period to mature and was in line with the government's plans to assist affected families for three months.
"Therefore, if families cultivate kumala now, by the end of March it will be ready for harvest," said Mr Matagasau.
"The plan is for individual families who are issued with the cuttings to have a hundred mounds of kumala and this will cater for them after government ceases its assistance. In Macuata alone we have 206 households, while another 366 households in Bua will also benefit from this assistance since Cakaudrove was unaffected by the cyclone."
Mr Matagasau said kumala was a quick-food security crop and they would also be issuing vegetable seedlings to families.
"In a way, we're doing good since we're re-instilling hope in villagers that farming is the best choice we can make in recovering from natural disasters and also ensuring that our health remained paramount," he said.