Sandalwood valued at Vt 208 million seized by Customs

Vanuatu sandalwood packed in container. Photo: ©

Six containers of sandalwood allegedly from New Caledonia have been seized by Customs with a claimed value of Vt 208 million. This is big Read the rest of this entry »

Australia set to relax restrictions on Vanuatu kava imports

Australia to allow Vanuatu kava imports again

The big news today is very good news: Australia eases kava restriction, Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu loses distinguished agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa – first ni-Vanuatu with a PhD in science

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Ni-Vanuatu agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa, who passed away earlier this week. Photo: Dr Vincent Lebot

Vanuatu has lost leading agricultural scientist Dr Roger Malapa. He died in hospital in Nouméa this week after a battle with cancer. Dr Vincent Lebot told Radio Vanuatu that the death of Malapa, from Malekula, is a huge loss for the country. He specialised in yam genetics and returned to Vanuatu after completing a PhD in France to create a breeding program to increase the genetic diversity of yams. His work has helped many farmers in the country, said Dr Lebot.

The Prime Minister has declared that there will be no procrastination in the payment of outstanding retirement payments due to former public servants. He made the point in the official launch of Government’s new staffing policy on Tuesday at the National Convention Centre. He said Read the rest of this entry »

Northern Vanuatu’s main hospital cuts services due to staff shortages

Severely understaffed: Luganville's Northern Districts Hospital

Severely understaffed: Luganville’s Northern Districts Hospital

Northern District Hospital is facing an acute staffing shortage. Only some 24 out of 50 contracts issued by hospital management last October have been approved by Read the rest of this entry »

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 Read the rest of this entry »

Govt hopeful that legislation will get Vanuatu off international financial grey list

Will legislation passed last year by Vanuatu's Parliament be sufficient to remove Vanuatu from the grey list?

Will legislation passed last year be sufficient to remove Vanuatu’s financial sector from international grey listing?

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Kava exporter produces evidence to counter tampering accusations


Peter Colmar, owner of Santo kava export business Sarami Plantation has responded to criticism of what were labelled as his “tainted” kava exports a week ago. The allegations of impurities in Sarami shipments were made by European kava expert Dr Mathias Schmidt in Germany and Vanuatu’s European Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy in Belgium. Colmar has angrily rejected the accusations of a week ago as “lies”, Daily Post reported on the weekend, and he produced gas chromatography data showing that his exported kava was a derived from a noble variety and contained only roots. There was some sympathy shown for Sarami and the Colmar position by the Agriculture Minister when contacted by Daily Post. He felt a cancellation of the exporter’s licence was not appropriate if the kava exported was of good quality. However, he said Read the rest of this entry »