Amazing Fijians: Ex-Purser Flies High With Kava Export

Ex-Fiji Airways staff member hopeful of returning to the air too.
29 Aug 2020 12:49
Amazing Fijians: Ex-Purser Flies High With Kava Export
From left Mahendar Raj in his Fiji Airways Uniform, Mahendar Raj at his packaging room in Malolo, Nadi on August 28, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

After receiving his termination letter sometime in May this year, the former Fiji Airways purser Mahendar Raj, felt he should go big on kava export.

Mr Raj, 51, of Labasa, operating his own company called 3A Raj Exporters, is one of the upcoming kava exporters of Fiji.

The father of two is investing big money to help his family during the pandemic.

Last week, he exported kava to the United States of America and New Zealand.

Mr Raj, is a former Police officer who joined Fiji Airways back in January 14, 1991.

“Although I was flying, I was exporting kava at a small scale for 10 years. During that time I had exported around 200kg monthly,” he said.

After the termination he has increased his kava export from 700kg to 1000kg per month.

“I am trying harder to go bigger. But the market is a bit difficult this time around due to the pandemic. The sales have really gone down,” he said.

He buys ‘waka’ and ‘lewena’ from a farmer in Savusavu, pounds it and packs it ready for shipment.

A pharmaceutical company in Canada is interested in buying a large quantity of kava from Mr Raj next month for medicinal purposes.

He also said a friend from New Zealand had urged him to export vegetables also, and he is liaising with the Ministry of Agriculture and Biosecurity Authority of Fiji on this prospect.

Currently living in Nadi, Mr Raj attended Vashist Muni Primary School and Labasa College.

He has no regrets serving 30 years with the national airline, but he remains hopeful of re-applying when the Fiji Airways advertises for a recruitment drive.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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