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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Port Villa Presse, Nov. 30) - Vanuatu is sending 15 participants to the International Kava Conference to be held at the end of this month in Suva, Fiji.

The group’s visit coincides with rumblings in Fiji of a retaliatory embargo on kava imports from Vanuatu after Vanuatu put a ban on Fiji biscuit imports.

The fifteen people who are selected to represent the kava industry in Vanuatu include farmers, exporters, kava bar dealers, Kava Research Scientist -- Dr. Vincent Lebot, Vanuatu representative of the International Kava Executive Council (IKEC), and government officials.

The General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vanuatu’s representative of the International Kava Executive Council, Mr John Aruhuri led the Vanuatu delegation to the three-day Conference that starts today and ends December 2, 2004.

Aruhuri will also present a paper at the Conference on the consequences of the Kava industry in Vanuatu.

His presentation discusses topics such as kava as a traditional crop, cultural uses, commercialization, domestic and international trade, legislative framework and supervision, quality control standards, industry organization, support from national government, local donor partners, regional and international agencies into work program activities designed to be undertaken from 2005 and onwards.

This year’s Conference is very timely as scientists and organizations that have been carrying out scientific trials on kava products will be attending to present their findings.

The scientific results of trails expected to be presented at the Conference include: results from the toxicological trail; statements from the German Health Authorities; statements from the World Health Organization; proposals from the kava growing countries regarding the change of legislation to ensure kava quality; new research regarding differences between kava varieties and state of the art of kava safety and efficacy which will be presented by international opinion leaders.

It is expected that up to 20 scientists from all over the world will attend the Kava Conference.

Each of the IKEC members is expected to present their respective country papers on current and future development activities at the national level.

About 100 participants will be attending the International Kava Conference, including representatives of the Region’s kava growing countries (Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu) plus resource personnel from within the Pacific Region.

Funding for this important first ever International Kava Conference was sourced from CDE and Pro-Invest, an EU agency.

Other interested individuals are welcomed to attend at their own cost.

December 1, 2004

Port Vila Presse:


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