Vanuatu govt bill seeks to protect kava from outsiders

Vanuatu's Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah says the government will table a bill in Parliament for kava to become a reserved crop.

The bill would provide for only ni-Vanuatu farmers to plant kava, leaving any expatriate farmer looking to plant kava having to apply for a permit.

The minister said what he saw on his recent visit to Fiji convinced him to introduce the kava protection bill in parliament.

Mr Seremaiah had warned that in Fiji expatriate are mass producers of kava and have taken over a once strictly Fijian farmers' traditional kava industry and he does not want the same situation in Vanuatu.

He said once passed, the law would also protect other traditional crops including island cabbage and noni from being farmed by outsiders.


Photo supplied DARD. Caption: Kava nursery in Vanuatu