THE agriculture Ministry has been supporting kava farming in the country under its Livelihood and Export Base Expansion Project and I have been monitoring progress with crop production since early last year.
It was about January 2017 that I first read that farmers of Pupuka Village in Northwest Choiseul were being encouraged to grow kava as a valuable cash crop as, compared to other cash crops, kava is less affected by plant disease and there is a constant demand from overseas buyers especially from the United States.
I have not seen much to say how kava production and sales progressed at Pupuka Village but hoped the project was successful in generating a source of income to assist community livelihoods.
I am assuming the Pupuka Village project did prove successful because today, Tuesday, the Solomon Star newspaper reported in an article that kava has now become a lucrative cash crop in the Solomon Islands.
The article cited the fact that the agriculture Ministry has been helping farmers in the Roviana lagoon area and they recently received training in the cultivation of kava from the principal field officer from the Munda agricultural extension office.
The training programme reportedly brought together around 40 farmers, most of whom had been growing kava but with only basic knowledge on how to properly manage their crop for better yields.
Following the training the farmers are now better equipped to successfully grow kava and to make a sustainable income from selling their crop.