We need to protect our kava industry: DPM

March 25, 2024 12:33 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica at the Implementation Plan for the Regional Kava Development Strategy and Geographical Indication (GI) Kava.

Aligning domestic regulations with international standards is paramount to achieving the necessary protection for Kava.

This is according to Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica while opening the regional workshop on the Implementation Plan for the Regional Kava Development Strategy and Geographical Indication (GI) Kava.

Kamikamica highlights that the Kava Bill in Fiji is still pending for some time.

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However, he states that these domestic legislations must not only address the regulatory framework for domestic production and trade, but it should also incorporate provisions for Kava GI protection, paving the way for global recognition of our Pacific Kava.

Kamikamica stresses that the time to act is now and by ensuring that the domestic and regional frameworks reflect considerations for Kava GI, the Pacific can position itself to safeguard the integrity and authenticity of Kava products on the international stage.

“One such threat that demands our attention is the issue of geographical indicators for Pacific kava. Geographical indicators serve as markers that identify a product’s origin and qualities associated with its geographic location. The absence of a robust system to protect the geographical indication of Pacific Kava makes it susceptible to exploitation and misrepresentation by others.”

The Deputy Prime Minister shares that recent media reports have highlighted instances where kava has been successfully cultivated and harvested outside the region, including parts of the United States and potentially other areas worldwide.

He says this not only protects our cultural heritage but also strengthens the economic prospects of our Kava industry.

Kamikamica says the success of the kava industry hinges upon the actions they take today and the strategies they formulate for tomorrow.

He adds that they are not merely convening to discuss the present state of our kava industry, but rather to envision and shape its future trajectory.