Quality Control Issues For Vanuatu Kava Being Addressed

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

FAO helps address issues to ensure successful export

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 18, 2015) – The Food and Agriculture Organisation in Vanuatu has stepped in to address quality control issues for kava.

The initiative comes in the wake of a recent scientific finding and European declaration that the traditional root drink is safe.

The coordinator of the FAO's awareness programme, Peter Napuat, has been conducting a week-long training and awareness programme about the plant.

He says there are many varieties of kava in Vanuatu compared to other countries in the region, and only ten varieties are suitable for local consumption and the export market.

Mr Napuat says farmers need to be encouraged to only plant and sell those noble varieties.

"Kava is an important commodity both locally and to the external market. It is important that the farmers know more about their own kava because now we have a kava act, and the kava act actually pushes the nobles and that is where the quality standards must be reflected in the kind of product that goes to the market."

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