POLICE uprooted and seized more than two million dollars worth of marijuana in Kadavu this year.
And they have not ruled out the possibility of the drug being sold overseas, considering that the island is often frequented by vessels at sea. Kadavu lies on the edge of the open seas to the world.
Criminal Investigations Department director Senior Superintendent of Police Vakacegu Toduadua said the drug market was bigger than they thought.
"When we gauge the value of drugs planted and the economic situation of the country, no drug lord in the country can buy that much drugs," he said.
SSP Toduadua said the cultivation of marijuana at various places in the country remained a concern for the Fiji Police Force.
"The trend is that once we target one area, they shift to another area," he told The Fiji Times.
"First it was in Rakiraki and when we resolved it, it shifted to Navosa and Vanua Levu. After we managed to track them (cultivators) down in Navosa and Vanua Levu, the Kadavu issue came up."
SSP Toduadua said marijuana was easy to grow, taking between three and four months to mature and harvest.
He said some people found it easier to grow marijuana than sugar cane, root crops or yaqona because it matured earlier and fetched a lot of money.
"The problem is the seeds. It grows wherever it falls or is thrown at as it doesn't need one to prepare the land or water it everyday."
While he confirmed that there were no concerns at present on hard drugs being manufactured and sold in the country, he said "the major concern is marijuana".
"More than $2 million worth of drugs (marijuana) has been seized in Kadavu by police in recent months."
"We can't rule out the possibility of vessels coming in and taking it out. We believe the Kadavu drugs are being shipped overseas and there's a possibility of it being sold in the overseas market.
"The amount of drug seized is too much for the local market, considering the economic situation."
SSP Toduadua said thousands of marijuana plants were uprooted in Kadavu early this year and the drug also seized from individuals on the island. "The police force needs the help of members of the public to identify the marijuana farms and cultivators to solve the drug problem," he said.