2015 Amendments To Vanuatu Kava Laws Gazetted; Exports To Be Improved

Promulgation of regulations in response to problems in kava export industry

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 28, 2017) – The recent issues surrounding kava exports have prompted State Law to gazette the Kava (Amendment) Act which was passed in 2015, to help the Vanuatu Biosecurity Department to improve the management of all kava exports.

Director of Biosecurity and Acting Director General of Agriculture, Timothy Tumukon explains, “First and foremost the amendment will be used to clean up the kava export industry especially since there have been extensive media coverage of kava exports in the recent past”.

He says there were issues involving kava quality s as well as individuals who traded with kava overseas. “We have pinned our hope on this amendment to be able to develop some procedural approach to draw a clear boundary where the Government stands and where kava traders, middlemen and farmers stand, to work to improve kava quality”, the Director says.

“This piece of legislation is gazetted to give us the legal power to implement the Kava Export Quality Standard”.

The Director had met with stakeholders last year to advise them of the implementation of the Kava Export Quality Standard from March 1st this year.

Asked what the reactions from the stakeholders were like, he said it was two-fold; those who welcomed the standard requirement and those who complained the period was too short. “We had given all of them enough time to prepare for this day,” the Director says.

The new amendment gives Biosecurity the power to make sure of the kava is strictly of noble type, is clean and healthy of any defect or disease, as well as the food safety side of the product.

In the long run, the Amendment also empowers Biosecurity to improve the local kava trade in the nakamals and kava bars.

It will eventually improve kava trade by improving the quality of kava that is sold in the nakamal and the kava bar and the kava quality that is sold to the nakamal or kava bar.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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