Yaqona and peripheral economy ( Fiji).

M. Sofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Commonly known around the Pacific islands as kava, yaqona is the traditional Fijian beverage. Beyond its prominent role in all rituals and ceremonial events as well as social gatherings, the yaqona plant itself became increasingly important as a cash crop for native Fijian communities located in peripheral areas. These backward regions, as represented by Kandavu island, are increasing their engagement in the cultivation and commercialization of yaqona. This is shown through the cultivation pattern of crops, distribution of income sources, and spatial pattern of yaqona flows centred on the Suva market. The main reasons for this areal specialization are: the suitability of physical conditions, combined with agrotechnical advantages; unfavourable price mechanisms which affect other crops, combined with marketing disadvantages; and the nature of the core-periphery structure of Fiji's space-economy. However, the trend of areal specialization is a form of commercial response to an increasing marginalization of the native peripheral economy, and should not be seen as a socioeconomic transfer or modification of the village mode of production into a form of advanced commercial entity, or a pivotal change towards a capitalist form of production. -Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-436
Number of pages22
JournalPacific Viewpoint
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985


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