Betel farmers have incurred heavy losses this season due to the use of poor technology and lack of adequate knowledge, according to a report in Myanma Alinn yesterday.
To cultivate on farms damaged by vermin and erratic weather, soil testing kits and equipment are a must to test soil classification, soil pH and water. Owing to high costs, many farmers do not follow the proper procedure, resulting in low yield and inferior betel quality, said a betel leaf grower from Pantanaw Township.
It costs between Ks100,000 to Ks1 million to use the soil testing kits and equipment, depending on the quality. However, soil testing service is a must for betel farmers.
Soil testing kits can be used for gardening too. Salinity and sodicity play a crucial role in determining the fruit and vegetable quality and production. For this, moderate and reasonable levels of salinity and sodicity are essential.
For Myanmar’s betel leaves to get a strong market share in the export market, quality production throughout the year, which is free from chemical residues, as well as systematic farming methods, are needed.
Myat Thu (AMIA)