Kava Shortage Pushes Up Prices In Fiji

Country is struggling to keep up with demand, estimated two to three years before kava supplies return to normal

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 06, 2017) – A difficult year for growers and skyrocketing prices have led to a severe shortage of kava in many parts of Fiji.

The category five Cyclone Winston a year ago destroyed much of the country's kava crop, and farmers have struggled with regular flooding since.

The chair of the Fiji kava council, Rupeni Koro, said that had severely limited supplies of the popular root sedative, and the country was struggling to keep up with demand.

He said some markets have stopped selling kava, and where it was available, it now costs in excess of US$40 a kilogram - a 76 percent increase.

"Right now we're buying (FJ)$85 - $100 a kilo. It used to be $20-$30, not more than that. Most of the market vendors don't sell kava because they don't have kava right now because the kava price is too high."

Rupeni Koro said it could be two to three years before kava supplies return to normal.

Radio New Zealand International
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Very informative for us frustrated off-island kava consumers.

Not a chance kava prices will drop

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