Development of a Yaqona Quality Manual: Survey of Varieties of Yaqona grown in Fiji
Kava or “yaqona” is an important cash crop in Fiji. Consumed locally as a drink for ceremonial and social purposes, it is also exported to countries including New Zealand, the USA and within the Pacific region. Over 2011-2013, the average annual value of kava exports from Fiji was approximately FJD6.2 million.
This report provides details of a 2014 survey of kava varieties across the main islands of Fiji. The survey found that Fiji has 13 known varieties of ‘noble’ (desirable for export) kava. Variety descriptors were developed for each, as well as a draft identification key using recognised botanical characteristics. The information on varieties is to be used in the development of a quality manual for use by farmers, exporters and government officials.
Key words: False kava, yaqona, kava, noble yaqona, non-noble yaqona, kavalactone, yaqona manual, quality