Trainings aimed at improving kava farmers’ knowledge and skills to produce quality kava production was successfully held at South Vangunu and Rukutu villages, Marovo lagoon in the Western Province from October 4-7, 2021.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL), through its Extension Division at New Georgia Region, Western Province, facilitated the four days theory and practical kava training which focused on kava management, harvesting and processing.
Chief Field Officer (CFO) for Western Province Sipuru Rove said the trainings was a success.
“Kava is a new cash crop therefore farmers need practical training and important information regarding the crop to ensure they have the required knowledge and skills to produce quality outputs.
“To ensure our country become a leading player in the kava market we must produce quality kava. So the training is critical and timely to better farmer’s knowledge on the practices to produce quality production,” Rove said.
Close to 60 participants joined the trainings which included men, women and youths.
Participants expressed profound gratitude to MAL through its Western Province Extension Division at New Georgia for the trainings.
They said such training is very important because it enabled them (farmers) to better their knowledge on proper cultivation of kava and the processes it takes to produce quality kava productivity.
“The training is a boost for us. We learned a lot of new information about this newly introduced cash crop (kava) which will really help us to improve our kava cultivation management and processing,” Rove quoted Rukutu participants.
“Harvesting and processing of kava is really critical. Most of us (farmers) lack proper understanding on kava processing. We had some disappointing experiences in 2020 when our kava products were rejected by a company who buys kava in Honiara for not meeting the required market value/quality.
“So this training is an advantage for us. We will utilize the knowledge and ideas acquired to guarantee we produce quality outputs,” excited participant from Tinge South Vangunu, Philip said.
Meanwhile, Rove said to meet market requirements, sound knowledge and understanding of quality kava production and kava variety recognition, are of paramount important that should be disseminated to kava farmers.
“This, will boost farmers’ capacity on quality kava production. The insight of kava information disseminated to participating farmers during the trainings, has built their confidence on new skills and basic knowledge to continue grow and process quality kava production.”
While acknowledging MAL through its Western Province Extension Division for facilitating the training Mr Levi Muli and Pr Pareti Ngini who spoke on behalf of South Vangunu and Rukutu participating farmers said the trainings really clear their uncertainties on growing and processing kava.
They call on MAL to continue with such support training in Marovo Lagoon to enhance farmers understanding on kava for better production output.
CFO Rove thanked participants for their time and commitment proven during the trainings and also acknowledged MAL management through its Extension Department in Honiara for the continuous support to the Western Province Extension Division.
He also recognized his Extension officers in the Western Province at New Georgia, Gizo, Munda, and Seghe for the job done in enabling the training.
The training is facilitated and conducted by MAL Extension officers from Munda and Seghe, combined with the kava farmer expert from South Vangunu Duko Village Mr. Muli Levi, who won the kava quality show hosted by Kubonitu Holdings Limited, October last year (2020) in Honiara.
Members and Extension Officers involved in the training are; Levi Muli, Kava expert grower from Duko, Langa Wilson, agriculture attached student, Esmond Roba, Extension Officer, Lorima Bella, Extension Officer, Bennett Paiyda, Extension Officer, George Vudere, Extension Officer, Kelvin Lamusasa, Extension Officer and Salome Ete, Livestock Officer.