26 Apr 2005

Fiji's Kava growers, processors and distributors could have to apply for licences

7:30 am on 26 April 2005

Thousands of Fiji kava farmers, processors and dealers would have to apply for a licence to sell the product when the Kava Council Bill is passed in parliament this year.

The Bill, which has already been approved by the cabinet, would cover even those in villages and small islands.

The Fiji Times reports the Bill would place control of the kava industry in the hands of the Kava Council chairman, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo.

Ratu Josateki says all those selling kava would have to follow the new legislation or face charges.

He says those who operate without a licence after the Kava Council Bill is passed would face fines of 1-thousand-200 US dollars or up to three years in prison

Ratu Jo says the Bill is aimed at bringing about uniformity in the growing, processing and packaging of kava before it is consumed locally or exported.