kava exports

Vanuatu kava exports affected by COVID-19 pandemic

According to the famers, the closure of borders and high export freight rates have hit export levels.

Kava farmers and exporters have identified issues and are adopting with the situation such as Air Vanuatu regular flights to New Caledonia and Fiji Airways flights to United States via Fiji.

“Sea freight was more popular for kava export as the freight is much cheaper than air freight,” said Michael Louze, a kava exporter and the Chairman of Vanuatu Kava Industry Working Group.

Vanuatu experts worry about impact of COVID-19 and extreme weather on exports

However, new statistics show businesses in Vanuatu are more confident that they will survive compared to businesses in other Pacific countries. 

A VBTC news report said experts are hopeful for kava exports. 

The Trade Development Officer at the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, Andrea Ibba said, ‘This is a really horrible situation to have both disasters. COVID-19 has killed demand and accessibility to international market while TC Harold has killed supplies. So it’s a very difficult situation for Vanuatu.”