31 Dec 2008

Kava importer encourages Fiji interim Government to take greater control of the industry

2:55 pm on 31 December 2008

A United States-based importer of Fijian kava says Fiji's kava industry could become more cohesive if the government took more control of it from the village chiefs.

Michael McCoy of South Seas Botanical says there is much to be gained for Fiji from the interim government assisting the local kava industry's rehabilitation.

This follows a request from the Fiji Kava Council to the interim government for financial assistance to kickstart the industry as it looks to bounce back following the lifting of the kava ban by European markets last month.

Mr McCoy says Fiji's kava exporting can grow significantly if the local industry can get better organised, especially after the years it receded during the ban.

"It could help, I think it would save a lot of bickering, and people trying to take advantage of other people, you know, maybe some sort of a co-op situation. I think that maybe if they had more a government agency versus the chiefs and the ratus, or the villages taking control of it, and often time they make all the money. So if the Fijian government can step in and help that, then that'd be wonderful."

Michael McCoy