New and faster way to produce and process kava

Australian Minister for the Pacifi c, Senator Zed Seselja places kava in the new machines at the Lami Kava factory in Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Lami Kava Pte Ltd has a new and faster way to produce and process kava after the commissioning of its new and advanced kava wash bay and grading facility.

With support from Australia and New Zealand through the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus), Lami Kava constructed a modern wash bay structure with water treatment facilities and drying machinery to strengthen the quality of its kava and kava-based products for export markets.

The facility, which was commissioned by Australian Minister for International Development and Pacific, Zed Seselja, is part of the company’s new green kava processing method that ensures the freshness and quality of kava is maintained from the farm gate to finished product.

“With the wash bay, our factory throughput has increased and normal volumes that initially took up to three days for washing are now completed in three hours,” Lami Kava managing director Donny Yee said.

He said the current business model allows Lami Kava to increase its supply base and buy more kava from the farmers.

Mr Yee said this was a positive flow-on effect for farmers in terms of time saved on post-harvest related work which translates into reduced farm costs.

“They (farmers) can now focus more on planting and managing their kava plantations and less on drying kava – while we manage and control the quality issues associated with the washing, drying and storage of kava.”

Lami Kava now has the confidence to take processing a step further with the installation of new processing facilities for new value-added kava products, supported through its partnership with PHAMA Plus.

PHAMA Plus national export market systems Facilitator (Fiji) Navitalai Tuivuniwai congratulated Lami Kava for being a positive change maker in Fiji’s kava industry, ensuring a more sustainable and improved quality kava production.

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