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Satuala Developments gets Solar Drier to boost Kava quality

APIA, SAMOA – 30 JUNE 2023: Satuala Developments, Neiafu, Savaii, will soon see improvements in the processing of its kava with the installation of a solar dryer. This week, the family owned agri-business signed an agreement with the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus (PHAMA Plus) program to provide a self-build solar dryer for their kava.

The dryer uses a greenhouse-style model that has proven successful drying cocoa beans and kava in other Pacific countries.

Satuala Developments supplies kava in the local market and recently exported to the demanding US market with kava products from its own plantation and nearby farmers.

The owners of Satuala Developments, Aliimalemanu Ropati and Misileti Satuala, said one of the main constraints to their business is bad weather, which delays the drying as kava is put out to dry on mats in the open sun. “When it rains, the kava can get mouldy, which lowers the quality of the product.”

PHAMA Plus Country Manager, Asuao Kirifi Pouono said; “We are keen to see the technology being adopted by Satuala Developments, and hope to help others to adopt these sorts of dryers.”

PHAMA Plus has been facilitating the use of solar dryers in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, PNG and Samoa, to increase product quality, export volumes and returns to both exporters and farmers.