Vila Times

Kava farmer in Fiji earns as much as US$4000 a day

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A yaqona farmer in Fiji says he is earning as much as FJ$8000 (almost $4000 US dollars) a day from selling the commodity.

Aminiasi Rokoba is also a vendor at the Savusavu Municipal Market, Fiji Sun reports. He said since Tropical Cyclone Winston, though it hit Fiji economy much and affected the lives of many, it also became a blessing in disguise for yaqona farmers.

“Before tropical cyclone (Winston) hit Fiji, the price of grog was between $40 and $50 a kilogram,” Mr Rokoba said.

“However, after the cyclone, the price of grog increased to $100 a kilogram,” he said.

“Grog farming is a good business and we have benefitted a lot from it and have helped in improving our living standards. I am a kava farmer; I provide my grog and make good money out of it.”

He said the recipe for success in the business was hard work and determination.

“One challenge that avoids a farmer from being successful is his fear of the unknown,” Mr Rokoba said.

“But I would like to encourage farmers to be bold and plant for the market and run their farm as a business because at the end of the days farmers will be winners.”

Labasa vendor, Marica Tuwaisele, said her yaqona business had grown and was helping in preparation for her children for the start of the school year.

“The demand is higher even though the price of kava is skyrocketing,” she said.

“Towards the end of last year, we noticed the demand was higher than what we had experienced earlier in the year.

“This business is a big help for families who depend on kava for income and they have no other source of income.”