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Fiji’s First Kava Greenhouse

The commercial kava nurseries in Ovalau and Vanua Levu will incubate kava plants that will be later be sold to kava farmers around the country.
08 Jul 2020 10:29
Fiji’s First Kava Greenhouse
Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Programme national export market systems facilitator - Fiji Navi Tuivuniwai (left) in a signing ceremony with South Pacific Elixirs Limited operations manager Dharmendar Chand. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

Fiji’s first kava nurseries will be established in Ovalau, in a commercial bid to improve the standard of farming and quality of locally grown kava.It follows a signing ceremony in Suva yesterday between South Pacific Elixirs Limited (SPE) and Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Programme (PHAMA Plus).

SPE is a subsidiary of Fiji Kava, an Australian-Fijian medicinal kava company that produces natural noble kava products.

Commercial kava nurseries

The commercial kava nurseries in Ovalau and Vanua Levu will incubate kava plants that will be later be sold to kava farmers around the country.

The kava plants will be kept in the nurseries for six months, after which farmers can plant it for two years before it is ready for harvest, PHAMA Plus said

Traditionally, kava plants mature three to five years, but the case won’t be so for Fiji Kava which maintains high levels of organic measures.

Five varieties of kava with the highest lactones will be planted in the nurseries, PHAMA Plus said.PHAMA Plus national export market systems facilitator Fiji, Navi Tuivuniwai, said over 300 farmers will be employed in the initial set up of the nurseries.

“Improving the quality of kava is a priority for PHAMA Plus, and by partnership with an established leader in the Fijian kava industry, we are able to more effectively progress the significant export opportunities that exist across international markets, for higher volumes of noble kava, to benefit both exporters and local growers.”

Disease-free

The joint agreement aims to employ as many as 700 farmers following the signing, he said.Fiji Kava founder and chief executive officer Zane Yoshida said there was a major opportunity to export our high quality, disease-free kava supply around the world.”

He said the partnership would strengthen export opportunities for Fiji kava to Australia and other international markets.

“This includes the use of Fiji Kava’s tissue culture laboratory, a world-class first used to propagate disease free plants,” Mr Yoshida said.

PHAMA Plus is funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments, with its Fiji arm focused on supporting kava and root crops sectors for export markets.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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