A company involved in exporting kava in North Pentecost, has indicated to buy green kava at Vt2,000 per kilo, beginning yesterday.
This has been confirmed by a representative of the company in North Pentecost.
This is more than the price of green kava in Port Vila, which is being sold (in the Capital) at between Vt800 to Vt1,000 per kilo.
The export markets are Europe and the United States of America (USA), the source told the Daily Post.
He said this is a trial and once the Pentecost Kava Product is fully accepted by the Europe and the USA Markets, the price will continue to rise, because of markets that have opened already in the USA and Europe.
“Starting on Monday (Yesterday), the Kava farmers on North Pentecost will sell their kava product at the centre where they will be weighed and the farmer will receive his or her cash payment on the spot,” Daily Post was informed.
All that the farmer will have to do is, clean the stem and the roots or remove soil and make sure the kava product is fully intact, washed clean whole and then taken to the central market for sale.
“Of course the export kava company will take care of all other international export requirements, before the product hits the Europe and USA markets, but otherwise, the green kava purchasing price as of Monday (yesterday) is Vt2,000 per kilo for the “green gold” and the kava farmers on North Pentecost are excited about such a high purchasing price, because it means high cash income for them and also it means motivating Kava farmers to plant more Kava,” the source expressed.
“When you look at all kava farms on Pentecost only, the farmers will have to prepare to plant more Kava, especially to meet the international markets such US and Europe, but this is the challenge that the island of Pentecost and also Vanuatu as a whole will have to deal with in terms of sustainable market.
“But the kava farmers back on Pentecost are excited and welcome this opportunity, because it means receiving cash money on their doorstep as they hand in their kava products,” the source announced.
The Daily Post understands that the kava export company will take care of drying the kava products, complying with Government export arrangements as well as transportation from the island to Port Vila and the process of export market requirements.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade through Senior Administrative and Protocol Officer, Philip Arnhambath, confirmed to the Daily Posy yesterday that under the Copra, Kava and Cocoa Act of Parliament that came into force after Independence in 1980, the ni-Vanuatu with approved licenses can export kava products to overseas markets within or outside the Pacific region.
He also confirm that there are 12 kava bars operating in Los Angeles in the USA and some of the European countries while kava bars are also opening up in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands.
“The ministry does fully support this initiative as long as all legal requirements are in place and there is sustainable market overseas and of course enough Kava supply to keep the overseas markets going,” said Arnhambath.
The said purchasing price of Vt2,000 per kilo of green kava on Pentecost which is one of the major suppliers of kava into Port Vila and Luganville could mean drop of kava import domestically and the rise of kava price locally, but that remains to be seen.