The Raibevu family in Tacirua has given a piece of land to the Kadavu Kava Farmers Co-operative Limited.
Co-operative chairperson Rokoseru Nabalarua said the current Roko Tui Kadavu, Kitione Raibevu, came to their help when he heard they were searching for a piece of land.
To thank the landowners for their kind gesture he said representatives from the nine districts in Kadavu presented the family with whales tooth (kamunaga) and made a traditional presentation to the Raibevu family.
The nine districts are Tavuki, Ravitaki, Sanima, Nabukelevu, Yawe, Naceva, Yale, Nakasaleka, and Ono.
This land he said was now their property and this would be the venue of the Kadavu Kava Centre in Suva.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nabalarua said the Kadavu Kava Farmers Co-operative Limited was formed to protect the yaqona farmers on the island.
He said the co-operative had been registered as a company and all yaqona farmers in the nine districts and 75 villages in the province were members.
The board he said was made up of all district representatives – Roko Tui Kadavu who is also the treasurer, the Ministry of Agriculture as an advisor, a lawyer, and the chairperson.
The membership fee he said was $50 a farmer or one kilogram of waka.
For the first five years starting from 2019 he said they were given $25,000 to buy grog from farmers at $120 per kilogram (kg) for roots (waka), $80 a kg for the sliced rhizomes (lewena), and the peelings (civicivi) for $50 per kg.
Yaqona bought from the farmers he said were pounded by a machine at their processing house at Tavuki.
He said they were selling the pounded yaqona to their customers in Viti Levu and also to their overseas customers in the United States of America (USA) and a company in Canada known as Fiji Link.
Mr. Nabalarua said the board would be meeting soon to discuss further opportunities.