Govt’s National Kava Strategy sets standards, prioritises kava as export crop

Kava plants. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Forest & Kim Starr

Government is making kava become a priority so that Vanuatu can benefit better financially from its endemic euphoric. This was clearly stated by Agriculture Minister Matai Seremiah at the launching of the National Kava Strategy last Friday. The Minister pointed out that the European ban on kava had taught the country a lesson. Standards of production had to be met before marketing could properly proceed. This would help farmers better manage their crops. It would also benefit the local as well as the overseas market. The ban now being lifted we must work to lift the industry standards. The noble kavas are what the market requires. The Government will work closer with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) towards recognition. The Australian and New Zealand Governments have assisted in creating the standards and Codex Alimentarius rules will apply. (Radio Vanuatu)

Just as the Agriculture Ministry was achieving the new rules for kava production at the Tagabe Agriculture Station, misfortune struck at the Agriculture College (VARTC) at Santo. On Thursday the College stopped operations after land claimants allegedly entered the premises and began removing quarry material. There were threats and the school was obliged to close. Some 50 staff had to leave. (Daily Post)

The UMP political party has reconciled with the Reunification Movement for Change and the Green Confederation at the home ground of the RMC Prime Minister. A kastom ceremony took place earlier this year as UMP joined Government. UMP has now expressed its regrets for recent events and hoped there could be movement forward for the Modérés. The secretaries-general of the parties are still to meet to discuss outstanding issues. (Radio Vanuatu)