17 May 2018

Vanuatu confident of meeting kava target

3:15 pm on 17 May 2018

Vanuatu's director of agriculture says he is confident the country's kava farmers are going to plant more than the national target of a million kava plants by 2025.

A Kava plant.

A Kava plant. Photo: Supplied/ Len Garae

Today at Tagabe, Antoine Ravo launches Vanuatu's Kava Replanting Programme, in which farmers will be encouraged to raise Kava plants in nurseries before planting them with suitable companion crops like kumala, banana and taro.

Kava takes three to five years to harvest and the director says farming knowledge is advancing to ensure 100 percent growth rate of noble kava.

He says the ongoing challenges faced by the industry include the cost of transport and poor access betweens farms and markets.

With kava's popularity surging world wide, Mr Ravo says the local price for green kava is between nine and 14 US dollars per kilogram and about 35 dollars per kilogram of dry kava.

The crop is referred to in Vanuatu as "green gold".