Kadavu Kava Farmers Praise Govt Assistance

"“We have experienced problems such as the transportation of yaqona to the mainland due to irregular shipping schedules and ser­vices."
09 Feb 2019 17:58
Kadavu Kava Farmers Praise Govt Assistance

The Ministry of Agriculture’s assis­tance through the facilitation and re­cent opening of a kava processing shed and pounding machine at Vunisea, Kadavu has been praised by kava farmers on the is­land.

Kadavu Kava Farmers’ Co-operative Limit­ed (KKFCL) Chairman Roko Seru Nabalarua said the project has strengthened farmers’ passion for the industry on the island as they were in desperate need of the newly commis­sioned shed and machine.

“We would often find ourselves stuck in situations that were beyond our control and as we progressed with our yaqona farming, there were setbacks that affected the consist­ency of our production and supply,” he said.

“We have experienced problems such as the transportation of yaqona to the mainland due to irregular shipping schedules and ser­vices.

“Another problem was the unpredictable cost of doing business between farmers and the middlemen, with fluctuating prices in the market resulting in inconsistent returns,” he added.

With the new facility, Mr Nabalarua said the load on farmers would be relieved as it would put some of their doubts to rest.

“The idea of establishing a Kadavu Kava group began in 2016 when discussions on the way forward was held during various district meetings and it became fruitful in 2017 with the involvement of the Ministry of Agricul­ture following consent from all the districts,” he said.

“We are here witnessing the trials and sac­rifices each of us has made and that is the opening of the pounding shed, we can testify to the commitment the Ministry of Agricul­ture has towards the development of outer islands and we’re very grateful.”

The development assistance which was worth $210,000.00 is part of the Rural and Outer Islands Program (ROI) under the Min­istry of Agriculture.

The processing shed and pounding ma­chine, which will be managed by the KKFCL will oversee the pounding and processing of kava from members and farmers on the is­land.

“The facility will open up new opportuni­ties for us and will be another way of circu­lating revenue within Kadavu and is a way of giving back to the island, contributing to the vision for a better Kadavu through our kava production,” Mr Nabalarua.

The opening of the facility was witnessed by the District representatives, Government Officials, representatives of Pacific Horticul­tural and Agricultural Market Access (PHA­MA) Plus Programme, Yaqona Taskforce Committee members, Kadavu Kava Commit­tee members and yaqona farmers.

Source: DEPTFO News


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