The Quality Standard Farmers Training targeted at yaqona farmers currently held in Bua is receiving a thumbs up from the said audience.
Mudreilagi Estate and newly formed Middle East Farmers Association President, Mr Arthur Mills said he was thankful for the training which he intended to share to his 25-members the learnings he gained from
“I am happy to know there is a Food Safety Act. I will be stressing to my members about going organic and now we are 90% growing organic,” he said.
“I have advised members to plant more. In one day they can plant 1000 yaqona plants per person with the 20-or-so members we have; all young boys, two just joined and have not planted anything. But I told
them its ok we can help out.”
Mr Mills only concern was the fluctuation prices of kava in the market and the middleman whom he says, would continue to benefit from the farmers.
Nakorolevu Yaqona Farmer and newest member of Middle East Farmers Association, Ms Lizi Steiner echoed similar sentiments on the usefulness of the training.
“It’s been helpful to me especially learning about the sickness of grog, how to clean it, and know what the quality of it should be,” she said.
She said the sale of kava had been slow.
She said she would try to plant more to meet the market demand.
However, she felt the training would benefit the middleman more than the farmers and therefore, sought Government intervention.
Another yaqona farmer Mr Tevita Vaisova Tora, whose plantation is located in Navure, Nawaido, Solevu, Bua explained in i-taukei that he was inspired from what he heard on day one and that made him want to
plant more yaqona.
Mr Tora previously worked in a Suva night club but COVID-19 changed all that.
He said he had started planting yaqona last year in February after his uncle strongly encouraged him.
However, he made the move to Bua when COVID-19 cost him his job.
Today, he has planted a total of 1500-plus of yaqona, 1700 dalo of both Uro Ni Vonu and tausala varieties, 1000 cassava, and 30 vudi trees.
He anticipates his first harvest of dalo in December and the next in April next year.
He loves his simple life at the moment and enjoys the solitude of living alone on the farm with only determination and commitment to succeed to drive him.
The Quality Standard Farmers Training is been held at Saolo Village, Wainunu, Bua attended by over 100 yaqona farmers.
This training is being facilitated by the Kava Task Force Committee funded by the Ministry of Agriculture.