The Government should not interfere in kava pricing.
This was the call by an exporter after the news of the non-renewal of kava export licences for 2020 was published in Daily Post yesterday.
The concerned exporter, who requested anonymity, said kava pricing should be left to the buyers and farmers.
“I hope the government will not force a minimum price to be paid by the exporters to the kava farmers,” he said.
“If they do and set the pricing of dried kava too high, it could destroy the kava export industry, as this would open the kava world market to low grade and cheap kava from other Pacific kava growers.”
He cautioned the government not to rush in setting minimum prices but rather allow pricing to remain between farmers, buyers and exporters.
“It will take years to correct decisions that may not be best for both farmer and exporter. Rather, the government should allow the market dictate the buying prices based on supply and demand,” he said.
“We have tons of dried kava here waiting to be exported to New Caledonia which is currently the biggest kava market in the region and the more delay this involves, the more importers in New Caledonia will raise questions about decision on the part of the government and everyone else and may direct their attention to Solomon Island and Papua New Guinea regardless of price and quality.”
He concluded that exporters have noted the instructions of the Ministry of Agriculture for a meeting over kava pricing next week.