NEWS

Moves Afoot To Set Up Kava Council

A Bill for an Act to establish the Fiji Kava Council to regulate the kava industry and for related matters was presented in Parliament yesterday. The Standing Committee on Natural Resources
14 Mar 2018 10:00
Moves Afoot To Set Up Kava Council
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau.

Bill for an Act to establish the Fiji Kava Council to regulate the kava industry and for related matters was presented in Parliament yesterday.

The Standing Committee on Natural Resources presented the review of Bill Number 24 of 2016.

Presenting the Papers on behalf of the committee, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said the main goal of the Kava Bill was to establish the Fiji Kava Council, which would be responsible for administering the Act and would function as a corporate body with perpetual succession.

Mr Koroilavesau said the kava industry in Fiji was one of the major contributors to Fiji’s economy and the demand had increased in both the local and overseas markets.

He said since kava was generating millions of dollars in the Fijian economy there was a need for a proper legal framework to establish an authority that would manage, administer and assist the growth of the kava industry in Fiji.

“With the reopening of markets for kava in Europe and the existing markets in other countries, there remains the need to protect kava cultivated and processed in Fiji.”

He said the committee had conducted wider consultation around the country commencing from Sigatoka, Lautoka, Rakiraki, Labasa, Savusavu and Suva.

Mr Koroilavesau said through submissions the committee noted that the current shortage of kava supply happened well before Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“This aggravated the shortage of supply thus rapidly increasing the price of kava throughout the country,’’ he said.

“It is anticipated that the increase of kava prices would be in place for a few more years before the production stabilises to meet the growing demand.”

Mr Koroilavesau commended the report to the House and moved a motion for the Kava Bill to be set down for consideration by the committee on a future sitting day.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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