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By Aquela Lalakato

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, Jan. 9) - Local kava planters and stakeholders are anticipating a good year for the marketing of the herbal drink. 

This follows assurance by the Government of backing for the industry. 

Fiji Kava Council Chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo said the council is anticipating that the government will appoint a review committee for the industry in Fiji.

He said the committee would determine the current production and potential of Kava in Fiji; constraints in production and marketing of the product in the domestic and international markets; and recommend an appropriate institutional framework to enhance the development and growth of industry including the institutional objective s and human resource restructuring and requirement and budget. The committee would also recommend legislation that would assist development of the industry.

The committee he said would then have to come up with comprehensive report in three months time.

Nawalowalo also said there was much primary work to be carried out to improve local production domestically and to meet international standards. 

This included the ground on which the plant was planted, the different varieties and their locations in the 14 provinces including Rotuma, Rabi and Kioa. Ratu Josateki is also optimistic that all restrictions imposed by overseas countries would be completely lifted this year. 

Kava was a multimillion-dollar industry in Fiji, recording $100 million in export earnings in 1998 before its collapse in 1999.

January 9, 2004



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