Fiji, Vanuatu join efforts to protect kava exports

Update: 7:46PM COLLABORATIVE efforts to help protect Fiji and Vanuatu’s kava exports led to important discussions on ways to improve the regional standard of kava between the two parties last week.

A Fijian delegation was in Vanuatu under a program by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) that aims to protect the livelihoods of households involved in kava production.

Head of the Fiji Kava Taskforce delegation Pauliasi Tuilau said kava was not only a commercial crop to both Fiji and Vanuatu but one that was of significant value in cultural ceremonies in the Pacific.

He said the ongoing collaboration with Vanuatu would ensure greater understanding of the way kava was managed and traded as a key commodity in the region and world markets.

Vanuatu Kava Industry Association (VKIA) chairman Michael Louze indicated that kava had surpassed cocoa, cattle, and copra in terms of generating income for the farmers in Vanuatu.

Mr Louse said the visit by the Fiji stakeholders was timely because it provided the opportunity to share information and ideas that would strengthen the cooperation between the two countries on the implementation of their quality standards, including the use of the colorimetric test, an assurance technique to confirm kava quality.

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