Kava vendors faces surge in competition

January 20, 2024 12:06 pm

Mere Cama, a 63-year-old Kava vendor

Kava vendors at the Suva Municipal Market say their sales keep fluctuating due to an increase in competition from roadside stalls.

Despite a successful holiday season last year, demand has taken a hit as consumers divert to other priorities in the New Year.

Sakiusa Sorovi who has been in the business for 25 years says he has seen a significant increase in the number of Kava sellers.

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“Kava is in abundance in supply now compared to previous years; there’s a surge in Kava sellers on every roadside and an increase in market competition, and this has affected our businesses.”

Mere Cama, a 63-year-old vendor, expressed similar sentiments, saying that over time, supply has increased as more farmers have chosen to plant yaqona.

“As vendors who have been in this business for a long time, one thing we have noticed is the increase in roadside Kava stalls and small Kava bars that are taking in a lot of customers, and that is a competition for us.”

The vendors say the demand for kava increases during festive periods, and they have a lull period when there are no major activities.