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Kava supplement boosts local economy

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

THE launch of a kava supplement drink in Levuka will create employment opportunities for the people of Ovalau.

South Pacific Elixirs Limited officially launched Taki Mai yesterday with high hopes that it would boost the kava industry in Fiji.

Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama said the establishment of the factory and nursery created much-needed employment in the highlands and was also an innovative product that added value to one of Fiji's most famous crops - kava.

"Kava is one of our nation's cherished crops and Ovalau is known as one of Fiji's premier kava producing regions," he said.

"Education and awareness efforts will help increase the quality of kava that they supply to the markets, which I believe will create a ripple effect to the rest of the industry and open the door for export opportunities."

He said government had given a grant of more than $130,000 to the company.

"I'm looking forward to them moving their entire operation in Fiji where the final product is done in Fiji. There is no doubt that my government will provide them with the appropriate initiative to do so." The Australian Government through the market development facility also collaborated with the company for the supplement production. The company's managing director, Zane Yoshida, said extensive local research was carried out to identify suitable variety of kava plants to produce the Taki Mai supplement drink.

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