Training, nursery boost for kava farmers in Vanuatu

PHAMA Plus National Facilitator Emily Tumukon (left) and The Kava House co-owner Julia King during the partnership signing in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Vanuatu will soon see increased production of high-quality noble kava varieties through a system of village nurseries and farmer training programs.

The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus) – supported by Australia and New Zealand – has partnered with Vanuatu kava exporting company – The Kava House to provide training that will directly support the development and expansion of village nurseries in key kava planting areas on Efate.

Under the partnership, training will be provided to agents and key farmers in pruning and nursery management to increase noble kava production. This will cover planting techniques, good agricultural practices and climate smart agriculture; village nursery development and management; and pruning methods to produce planting materials.

Villages in key kava planting areas on the island will receive direct training support under the program, to develop and expand nurseries. The training will ensure increased kava production, and implementation of quality assurance systems to improve quality and safety standards of kava products for export markets.

Villagers will also be trained in pre- and post-harvest techniques, through improved training techniques, and maintaining market access. The training is designed to improve quality, support product consistency, and increase exports.

Training will reflect on the different roles of women, men, youth and people with disabilities in the kava industry. These trainings will directly complement the kava replanting program by increasing planting material availability and increasing the survival rate and productivity of plants.

The Kava House’s strategic partnership with PHAMA Plus seeks to influence change in the market and training is expected to reach a minimum of 1000 kava producing households over the 18 months.

Under the agreement, PHAMA Plus will provide support to The Kava House to obtain Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification, a costly but essential component of certifying and guaranteeing food safety and quality of a traded product.

PHAMA Plus has an existing Memorandum of Understanding with the Vanuatu Bureau of Standards to help businesses increase their understanding of the importance of product quality and safety, certification and traceability, and achieving and maintaining HACCP systems.

The Kava House Limited commenced business in 2011 and 13 of its 30 employees are women. Its main vision is to export high quality kava. The Kava House works with approximately 30 kava purchasing agents and 2000 farmers from Pentecost, Ambrym and Efate Island who supply only noble varieties of organically produced kava.


*For more information, please contact PHAMA Plus National Facilitator Vanuatu Emily Tumukon on

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