Mon State’s dried areca nut penetrating Chinese market

Mon State’s Agriculture Department stated that dried soft areca nuts processed in roasting machines are exported to China.
Hai Yuan Agricultural Development Co Ltd, located at Mawlamyine Industrial Zone 1, purchases fresh soft areca nuts and processes them in roasting machines. A baking oven has a capacity of roasting eight tonnes. Roasting fresh areca nuts takes about four to five days. Roasting 80 tonnes of fresh areca nuts can produce 20 tonnes of dried ones.
Due to the lack of value addition, they are kept in cold storage for exports.
Areca palm is one of the leading agricultural businesses in Myanmar. Only ripe areca nuts were earlier traded. Soft areca nuts are now being sold well.
The prices of dried areca nuts and soft and unripe areca nuts are the same. After peeling the outer shell, a viss (1.6 kilogrammes) includes 220 dried areca nuts. Yet, 62 soft shell areca fruits weigh a viss. Thus, soft and unripe areca nut trade can reap a profit three times higher than that of dried ones. The growers, therefore, eye the soft areca nut market rather than ripe harvest.
The soft areca nut can be harvested when it weighs 20-30 grammes and is one inch in size. Conical-shaped nuts, rather than round ones, are mostly traded. After baking the soft areca nuts with heat, they are exported to China.
Areca palm thrives well in moist soil, yet overwatering and soaking it wet is bad for them. They are commonly found in the Ayeyawady and Bago regions, Mon, Taninthayi, Kayin, Kachin and Rakhine states. — NN/EM

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