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Kava council seeks financial help

December 31
12:00 2008

image Written By : CAROLINE DELAIVONI. The kava industry can be an alternative export commodity to replace the ailing sugar industry, said the Fiji Kava Council chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo.
And the council has asked the interim government to lend them half a million dollars to kick start the industry as a commercial arm.
Ratu Josateki said it was useless if the interim government continued to fork out funds for the sugar industry because there had not been any sign of improvement.
The European Union lifted the ban on kava exports last month and the council is trying to get back on track in its production.
Ratu Josateki said the EU was confident that kava could replace sugar in the European markets and become a thriving commodity.
He said the council hoped that the interim government would help in funding the development of the kava industry.
Ratu Josateki said they has also asked Cabinet to have the industry regulated especially on the price control of kava.
He said they had an agreement in principle with the EU including the German Ministry for Trade and Commence and Heath last October and were granted 24 months timeline for producers to strengthen and regulate the industry.
Ratu Josateki said in that agreement they were required to establish standards and conditions to meet the EU trade requirements granting the markets quality commodity and efficient supply of the demanded volume.
“The kava industry will become a multi-million dollar trade commodity especially with Europe and United Nation markets,” he said.
“We established in a meeting in October with all parties concerned that the EU and German authorities will sit with stakeholders in Europe to clear all outstanding scientific and health obstacles.”
The kava council had made their submission for funding before the 2009 Budget Announcement last month. They have yet to receive a response from the interim government.

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