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Pacific EU SPIRIT Project

Free, Prosperous & Resilient Pacific Communities

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EU PRISE Programme Launches Scoping Study on developing the Kava-Based Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical Industry and Digitising the Kava Value Chain to Support Smallholder Kava Farmers in the Pacific

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Chief Guest, Fiji's Permanent Secretary for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Shaheen Ali.


A scoping study on the development of a kava-based pharmaceutical/nutraceutical industry in the Pacific was launched during an initial meeting on 28 September at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, Fiji.

The chief guest, Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Shaheen Ali shared deep and useful insights on Fiji’s policies and future direction on developing the kava value chain, the importance of protecting its intellectual property rights as a product unique to the Pacific region and how value-adding raw kava to processed or semi-processed products in the Pacific region before exporting them to international markets increases its commercial value, provides employment and income generation opportunities for our people, lifting people out of poverty, among other benefits.

The study will provide updated data and information on whether this is a pathway that’s feasible for the Pacific region in developing its kava sector and serving the commercial needs and priorities of kava farmers.

The prospects of digitising kava value chains in the Pacific integrating mobile technologies for widespread accessibility in rural areas, both offline and online, and by capturing individual farmer data, locations, farmer income inflows and outflows which can be linked to commercial and development banks can lower risks for smallholder kava farmers when applying for loans due to better predictability of farmers’ income flows.

For smallholder farmers, access to finance is the most important challenge they seek support from government and the financial institutions. Digitising the kava value chains using advanced technologies that have proven successful in developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America is worth exploring on how this can be leveraged to benefit our farmers in the Pacific. The six countries in the Pacific involved in the study include Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Experts from SourceTrace were also in Suva to deliver initial information sessions to participants on the next steps of the feasibility study. It’s organised by the Pacific Islands Forum’s SPIRIT and the Pacific Community’s SAFE Pacific projects which are funded by the European Union.

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From August 7th to 18th, 2023, the Institute of Applied Science within the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, hosted the “Regional Sampling Training for Competent Authority for Health Certification.” This comprehensive training program aimed to strengthen the capabilities and competencies of Pacific Island Countries’ (PIC) Competent Authorities (CAs), which serve as focal points in accessing the EU market. The training was funded through the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and was facilitated by the FFA market access team.
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Kiribati explores EU-Pacific IEPA Accession through PIF SPIRIT Project

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Thursday, 31 August 2023
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