Walter Isaiah is a lead kava farmer on South East Ambrym who has invested in kava production in 2015, after his engagement with seasonal workers program abroad since 2010.
Kava farmer Isaiah has decided to remain in his home village Moru, to grow kava as one of the main cash crops in Vanuatu on a 5-hectare land.
He has harvested most of his kava plants and replanted to increase his production of kava.
Farmer Isaiah recently supplied part of the 3,000 kava planting materials to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). This was distributed to the 22 communities of Paama island.
“I have over 5,000 kava plants in my kava plantation,” he said.
“A local buyer in Port Vila usually charter flights to South East Ambrym to purchase kava from kava farmers at a price of VT 850 per kilo.
“Currently my income is derived mainly from selling kava so I will continue to grow kava.
“Market opportunities for kava is still a challenge for many farmers and the approach by the DARD to purchase kava branches at the farm gate is an opportunity for me as a rural farmer to earn an income to support my families.”
Farmer Isaiah added “It will be a great opportunity for many farmers if the DARD purchases kava branches from South East Ambrym to be distributed to other islands who wish to invest in mass kava production.
“I would like to encourage young people to grow kava and those already in the kava industry to continue to increase production.
“I will continue to grow kava as Vanuatu’s green gold,” he concluded.