It is areca nut harvesting season usually a time for areca nut growers and exporters to earn some cash. In Sarpang, areca nut export is already underway, however, due to poor harvest this year, exporters are worried that they might run at a loss this season. Exporters usually book orchards in advance before the actual harvest begins.
Sangay Wangmo has been into areca nut export business for a decade now. She paid an advance amount of around Nu 1 M last year to areca nut growers to buy this season’s harvest.
“I bought around 20 areca nut orchards but the fruiting is very poor this year. This time, there is no profit like last year. It will be difficult to recover our investment this season,” said Sangay Wangmo, an areca nut exporter.
However, this year the price for the nut is better. A quintal of the nut fetches around Nu 1,000 more than last year. Despite this, Sangay says business is poor this season.
“This time for a quintal of the nut, we fetch Nu 5,000 when we export. But because of the poor yield, it would be very difficult to recover the amount I paid for the areca nut orchards,” said Sangay Wangmo.
Like Sangay, other exporters are also anticipating poor business this year.
“This time as the fruiting is very less, we are getting only 20 to 25 bags where we used to get around 50 bags in the past,” said Bhim Badhur Rai, an areca nut exporter.
Farmers claimed that less rainfall affected the yield this season. They said normally they used to receive rainfall in December and January but this time; there was no rainfall in those months. Areca nut cultivation is the mainstay of most farmers in Sarpang.
Karma Wangdi, Sarpang
Edited by Kipchu