Palm growers concerned over shortage of tree climbers

Photo shows palm trees in Magway Region. Photo: Hsan Nyunt (Yenangyoung)
Photo shows palm trees in Magway Region. Photo: Hsan Nyunt (Yenangyoung)

Palm growers in Yenangyoung and Chauk townships of Magway Region are facing difficulties due to a shortage of palm tree climbers.
“Three or four years ago, there were around 40 palm tree climbers in the four village-tracts in these two townships. Now, in the current palm-tree climbing season, there are only over 20 climbers. Men aged above 45 years are no longer climbing palm trees. And, many men from that generation have moved out to towns for work. So, there are a few people who climb palm trees, and so, we just have to leave some trees intact,” said a local palm tree owner from Kyaungyartaw village-tract in Chauk Township.
“Five years ago, we sold palm jaggery for K500 or K600 per viss. When we sold jaggery in town, we had to bear the transportation charges. We also had to buy firewood to cook the jaggery. We had to give three viss of jaggery per tree to palm owners. So, we could not make much profit. We are now unwilling to climb palm trees. We just want to find another job in town. So, the palm businessmen are faced with scarcity of palm tree climbers in our village,” said a local palm tree climber from Magyikan village-tract in Chauk Township.
“Although this is the palm business season, we’ve found only a few palm tree climbers. Last year, some trees remained untouched,” he added. Palm trees are grown mostly in Yenangyoung and Chauk townships. —Hsan Nyunt (Yenangyoung)(Translated by Hay Mar)

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