Kava farmers on Santo have expressed great fear of losing their kava production businesses in the wake of reports, alleging that investors will be engaging in mass kava production on their land.
In a press statement issued to the Daily Post, the kava farmers and suppliers said if the investors engage in kava production on a larger commercial scale, they will outnumber the hard working local farmers and dominate kava outlets with their production.
Describing this as a “silent killer” for their small-scale kava businesses, the concerned farmers called on the Government through the Minister responsible for labor to reconsider the working permits for those investors.
The local farmers are worried that their years of hard work would be in vain if this issue is not addressed immediately.
They claim that they will not be able to compete with the investors in terms of kava quantity.
“Kava is considered a traditional drink therefore the government should consider this as a priority to assist the farmers to protect the value of kava before they fall into the hands of investors,” they appealed.
The kava farmers concerned said they will do their every best to protect and defend their kava businesses as most of them rely on their businesses to sustain their livelihood.