Prices of elephant foot yams reach record high in domestic market

Elephant foot yams for sale on the market. Photo: Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)
Elephant foot yams for sale on the market. Photo: Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)

PRICES of elephant foot yams, locally known as Wa-U, reached a record high of Ks 10,000 per viss (3.6 lbs) in the domestic market this harvest season, due to low production and increasing foreign demands, according to merchants in Mandalay.
This year sees an upward demand for the yams, especially from China and Japan. At this time last year, the highest prices of elephant food yams were Ks 7,000 per viss. This year, the opening prices for a viss for elephant foot yams at the end of this August were Ks 7,000 in Mandalay market. The prices have been on the rise in the market.
According to the market, the dried yellow elephant food yams was sold for Ks 10,000 per viss on 15 September, while a viss of white yams was worth at Ks 9,000 and a viss of red yams was valued at Ks 8,000, said U Soe Win Myint, an owner of Soewinmyint Wholesale Shop.
“This season sees a low production of elephant food yams compared to the similar period in the last year. Demands for the yams are also high in the export market. The prices of elephant foot yams are expected to rise in the future. Usually, farmers raise their incomes from the sale of dried yams this season,” he added. The elephant foot yams are commonly cultivated in Myeik, Kawthoung, Ye and Dawei in Taninthayi Region, Hpa-an in Kayin State, Myitkyina in Kachin State, Katha, Kawlin and Wuntho in Sagaing State, as well as Kanpetlet and Mindat in Chin State.
The elephant foot yams from Myitkyina, Katha, Kawlin and Wuntho areas can be seen in the market between August and October. In Chin State, the yams are grown starting in September.—Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)

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