Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica says the Ministry of Trade is embarking on a stakeholders’ consultation on the possible introduction of a medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji.
Kamikamica said well-established private sector players have expressed interest to invest in Fiji and the Coalition Government is also focused on expanding the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical sectors based on traditional medicine and knowledge.
He said another potential market is the kava commodity.
Kamikamica said kava as an export commodity was valued at $40.7 million in 2022 and markets that were closed in the past like Australia, have opened up through the successful kava pilot programme which has paved the way for commercial importation of kava.
He said since 2021, Fiji has exported over 50 tonnes of kava powder to Australia and there are 258 registered exporters from the Pacific into Australia.
“The full commercialisation of the Australian market will create even more opportunities, including in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors rather than just being exported in powdered form.”
The Deputy Prime Minister added that in recent years, global interest in natural products and traditional remedies have surged and kava has emerged as a valuable commodity.
“The interest in pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical industries could be viewed as a means of value addition and diversification, enhancing the returns Fiji gets from kava,” Kamikamica further stated.