27 Apr 2005

Fiji Kava Council to further scientific research of yagona dieback

4:08 pm on 27 April 2005

Fiji's Kava Council says it will research a disease that affects kava throughout the Pacific region.

About 70 percent of the kava crop on Taveuni island has been destroyed by a disease known as yaqona dieback.

The Kava council's chairman, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, says it is committed to finding solutions.

"That was supposed to be done by the ministry of agriculture, but as you know when its in the hands of bureaucrats, nothing much happens. So we are going to take on that role of trying to control dieback. The problem is not just acute to Fiji, its all over the Pacific."

Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo says the council will begin its efforts to controlling the disease, if parliament approves the proposed Kava Council bill.

Mr Nawalowalo says the bill is aimed at regulating and improving Fiji's kava standards.