Vanuatu kava export quality gets big boost from amended Kava Act

Vanuatu's noble kava varieties

Vanuatu’s noble kava varieties

Amendments to the Kava Act are now gazetted. The Acting DG of Agriculture, Timothy Tumukon, is reported as saying “First and foremost the amendment will be used to clean up the kava export industry especially since there has been extensive media coverage of kava exports in the recent past.” Daily Post reports him saying there were issues involving kava quality as well as individuals who trade the product overseas. Vanuatu Daily Digest is committed to assisting Vanuatu’s noble varieties of kava achieve the international recognition they merit.

“We have pinned our hope on this amendment to be able to develop some procedural approach to draw a clear boundary where the Government stands and where kava traders, middlemen and farmers stand, to work to improve kava quality,” the Director says. Tumukon is also the coordinator of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius research project on kava which brought regional experts together late last year in Port Vila.

Tumukon met with stakeholders last year to advise them of the implementation of the Kava Export Quality Standard, intended to be operational from 1st March this year. There was a mixed reaction, he said, some claiming there was too small a timeframe for getting ready for that date.