28 Apr 2015

Samoa urged to support plan for "noble" kava exports

1:36 pm on 28 April 2015

The Samoan government is being urged to help support a plan for controlling the quality of exported kava.

A European kava expert and scientist Mathias Schmidt is visiting kava-producing countries in the region as part of a study on the root crop, which has been banned in Europe because of fears over its toxicity.

A German court decision lifted the ban in February last year.

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Photo: RNZ

Dr Schmidt says kava cultivars from Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Solomon Islands will be analysed in Germany to find the characteristics of good quality or "noble" kava.

He says fortunately for Samoa it only produces the noble variety.

"This country stands a good chance of developing the markets again which is very good news to the farmers here in Samoa. Yes, let's hope we can do this and we can define the standards for the Europeans and let the market evolve."