Vanuatu launches Kava Export strategy
Vanuata has just launched its Kava Strategy and Kava Quality Standard for Kava Export. Vanuatu Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah, said there is a shortage of kava in the country.
This, he said was both for local consumption as well as for export due to increasing demand. “We need to work together to demonstrate to our international markets and the international community that we are serious about kava and we will provide top quality kava, safe for human consumption,” he said. “We must address the issue to help our kava farmers to increase the level of kava farming to commercial farming by way of setting up nurseries for noble kava (varieties). “To achieve this we must all work together to support each other and the Government, the chiefs and farmers and Australia and New Zealand in our programme.” Kava represents Vanuatu’s cultural respect and identity. The Acting Chairman of the Kava Industry Working Group said Kava today is a commodity of great economic importance, one of the backbones to boost the country’s young economy.
In response from the Donor Partners, the Second Secretary to the Australian High Commission, Malcolm Paterson said Australia has been providing funding towards the kava programme since 2009. He said Australia provided almost US$257 million towards the overall PHAMA Programme which also covers Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tonga. “Kava is a commodity which has the potential to contribute towards export,” he said. “To help Vanuatu to export its kava, these standards are necessary to guide the farmers, suppliers and exporters to maintain a high standard of quality level of the commodity”. Paterson said with these, Vanuatu can build a reputation as a high quality standard exporter of kava to the Region and the world.