Fiji needs Vanuatu Kava: Seruiratu

Fiji will continue to rely on imported kava from Vanuatu until local farmers are able to cater for demands, says Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu.

Responding to questions on Vanuatu Kava imports during discussions with villagers of Nasolo in Bua during the week of Prime Minister’s tour of the North, Seruiratu said Fiji has a huge market locally.

 “We have a big market domestically here at home then we have our international markets, he said. “The reason we also get kava from Vanuatu is that Fiji doesn’t even have the supply to cater for the demand here at home. If we cannot even cater for the demand here in the country then we most definitely cannot cater for the overseas market.”

He said Fiji farmers would need to work harder and plant more if they are to capitalize on the “big money” from international markets.

According to earlier media reports, Fiji has been a net importer of Kava since 2002 with the most imports from Vanuatu. Bureau of Statistics records showed that in 2017, imports from Vanuatu increased by almost 216% to $15.9 million, due to increased imports of Kava.

 Fiji imports Kava and other products from Vanuatu under the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA).

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