The World’s First Commercial Kava Tissue Culture Laboratory is now open for operation in Levuka, Ovalau.
The tissue lab will grow disease free plantlets as well as create exact copies of plants that have desirable traits, improving quality and yield of kava.
The lab is also an important part of the standardisation of desirable kavalactone profiles as Fiji Kava moves into clinical trials.
More than 30 million dollars was earned from Kava export in 2018, revealed Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy during the launch.
The launch of the new kava tissue culture lab is expected to bring Fijian kava to the forefront of the export market.
Kava has become a lucrative cash crop and demand is increasing in locally and overseas with Europe and the United States being the top two markets.
Managing Director for Fiji Kava Limited Zane Yoshida said 40 local staff will be employed by the company.
“The lab with also contribute towards economic growth in rural Fijian communities.”
He added Fiji must explore every opportunity to protect kava as a true Fijian product.
The launch of the lab will also help local yaqona farmers thrive while making sure, that Fiji exports quality products in the local and overseas market.