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Fiji Time: 2:04 PM on Sunday 21 September

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Kava export to rise

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, May 25, 2013

FIJI earns $7-$8million annually from yaqona exports.

And this number could soon increase if final paperwork was completed to increase exports per month to the US.

Fiji exports yaqona to Fiji citizens in Australia, US, New Zealand and the UK.

In a statement, Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) sales and marketing officer Alifereti Yaya said Fiji's kava exports could soon increase by 18,000 kilograms per month to the US once final paper was completed by AMA and an American company.

He said they were talking to an American investor who was arranging his company before finalising the deal.

"We have been talking to this US company that wants to start importing Fijian kava for the US market," he said.

"Currently, we are exporting kava to the US but should this deal follow through, we could see our kava exports go up by 18,000kgs per month — that is kava which is not pounded."

Exported kava to those countries was for consumption while some used it as research for pharmaceutical needs.

"Right now, Fiji kava is being exported for drinking. Only two kilos are allowed by travellers or visitors to Australia per person because of the ban it placed earlier while British Army, rugby players and other people in the United Kingdom take kava with them or have kava sent to them by friends and family members."

Fiji Kava Council chairman Rupeni Koroi said earlier Fiji's economy would be boosted if kava exports were opened up for pharmaceutical or medical purposes.

He said the benefits would flow down to the farmers and communities.


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