Until April 28 2020, all quality tests undertaken for food, drinks and other bi-products are done in the Port Vila laboratory.
According to VBS Chief Executive Officer Ruth Amos, the lab based at Agriculture College will benefit most producers up North, especially kava producers who export their products overseas.
Upon VBS request, the Board of the Vanuatu Agriculture College gave the go- ahead to use an empty laboratory at the college to house VBS equipment, which will be used to conduct quality tests.
While setting up the office, the minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB) Willie Kalo Daniel paid a surprise visit to the lab, after learning that the lab will be beneficial to exporters of Vanuatu products based in the northern region.
CEO Amos revealed that since setting up the laboratory on Monday, the first kava powder products were brought in for testing.
“The test shows a yellow color which means it’s a pure noble kava product while the orange color could mean the producer used two-day kava. In the event that the test shows black, it means the producer may be using wild kava,” Mrs. Amos explained.
Minister Kalo was overwhelmed that this development could bring significant boost to industries development in the Northern region.
“I am sure this laboratory will serve its purpose well because it will save time and money for entrepreneurs and business houses to boost production. Given that Santo has the potential to expand and increase production, the establishment of this laboratory will complement these,” Minister Daniel Kalo said.
Santo exports kava soluble to the US, kava powder to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand, Kava Chips to New Caledonia and pounded kava to Fiji
The Laboratory will also check for nutrition contents in imported fruits, food and drink products.
And in the future, it will test for nutrient content and water content quality for any products to be marketed overseas.
Photo supplied Caption: Staff of VBS undertaking a quality test in the new laboratory.