18 Apr 2006

Fiji Kava Council expects boom, urges law change

1:47 pm on 18 April 2006

The chairman of the Fiji Kava Council says the government must pass the Kava Industry Bill as soon as parliament sits again to empower the industry at an opportune time.

Ratu Jo Nawalowalo says there is a shortage of kava to meet both local and international demand.

He says the time is right to get behind kava, with bans on products in Germany and other key markets expected to be soon lifted, as the result of overwhelming scientific research proving kava is not a health risk.

Ratu Jo says kava is the best alternative to sugar as Fiji's main agro-commodity, and that regulating and financing will empower the kava industry.

"We will be able to meet market demands within a very short time period, and not only that - be able to develop our industry to meet what is anticipated to be a very very heavy demand on kava not only from the traditional markets of Europe and the United States but also now with the two giants of Asia: India and China."

Ratu Jo Nawalowalo