It seems impossible to believe, but some villages in Fiji (Lau Group and the Eastern Division) have been encouraged to author a development plan for their villages that also includes a ban the consumption of Kava in these villages between Monday and Friday.
Fiji is one of the original places in the world to use Kava, so it’s been a part of the culture of Fiji for thousands of years. What’s interesting, though, is the ban is not because of any direct physical dangers associated with Kava consumption, but because so much Kava is consumed, that Commissioner Netani Rika is convinced that Kava is a contributor to the state of poverty that exists in the villages of Vanuauatu, Komo, Namuka and Ogea. He was quoted as saying; “excessive consumption of kava led to poor performance and was a major contributing factor to poverty.”
One of his speeches is below for those interested in hearing the message directly:
Mr. Rika is seeking to upgrade several ports around Fiji to allow more trade with larger vessels. This would mean increased Kava trade for this region of the world, where poverty is reportedly rampant throughout the region. Whether or not Kava is the culprit is certainly debatable, but finding a way to increase exposure to expanded trade would unquestionably provide a channel for more Kava trade for these poverty-stricken villages.
It’s curious that as the world’s demand for Kava increases, that Commissioner Rika is now so focused on rebuilding and expanding the harbors in villages around Fiji. I applaud his efforts to find ways of exporting a product that Fiji does as well, if not better than anywhere else in the world; Kava Kava. Personally, the Kava Guru is excited to a wider variety of Kava in the Marketplace, and will be one of the first in line to try any Kava that comes out of these regions.
Most are already familiar with Vanauatu Kava; a wonderful Kava with a fiercely loyal customer base. Anything of similar quality to that strain of Kava can’t be anything but a good thing.