Saturday 17 March 2012

Areca Nut Cultivation: Potential to Increase the Farm Income


      A popular nut produced from the Areca catechu is long associated with the farmers, non-farmers and hobbyist of the state. Popularity of the Areca nut could be gauged from its omnipresence in every household.
    Almost every household possesses with fewer areca nut palms in the homestead or around the bundhs of the farm pond. And people chewing nut with beetle leaves every now and then.
     Utility or usage of areca nut is mainly for chewing with beetle leaves which is quite prevalent in the state and, also for that matter in hole North-eastern states (Disclaimer, chewing of Areca nut may be injurious to health ).
     People of the state knew every pros and cons of Areca Nut cultivation due to its long association and usages.

Present state of Condition:

    Presently, Areca Nut cultivation is not around or in the state of condition for furthering with new and sizeable plantation, there are no formidable trends in replacing the age old Areca Nut palm with new seedlings.
    Whatever has been available now looks to be stagnant due to lack of farmers / peoples’ interest in establishment of new Areca Nut cultivation in good acreage.
    It is not that areca nut palm are not available but the general trends towards its popularization through large scale cultivation is the matter of the fact as it is not observed.
    There is peculiarity in the spread of Areca nut cultivation in hill and plain areas well, it is expected that areca nut plantation would come up successfully in the plain areas because of its suitability for maintenance but in reality, it is not happening in the plain areas. On the other side, Areca nut is coming up in the hill areas quite successfully despite of topographic limitations.
    Take the example of Jampui hill, in Jampui Hill, places like Vaisam, Hmanchuwang has good numbers of areca nut plantation covering huge tracts of lands. People of the area had taken up Areca Nut cultivation in large scale even though the land is of restrictive type due to sloppy terrain.
    But in rest of the areas that is including many plain areas, there is no large scale plantation. The trend is, people or farmer for the sake of requirement or family consumption, takes up Areca nut cultivation in fewer numbers in the homestead land.
   The result is; they never realized the potentiality of Areca nut in terms of its economic profitability if taken up in the large scale in the given plots of land.

Present market condition:

    In this particular time while writing this post, Areca nut market is buoyant and upwardly. In the village or rural area “One Pon of Areca nut is sold in rupees fifty which is quite profitable and economical looking to the productivity of less cared or nurtured Areca nut palm of the concerned (eighty numbers of ripened nut before processing is equivalent to one PON, a local unit in case of Areca nut.).
     Reason of such market realization is due to demand supply gap. There is shortage of supply compared to demands.
     In Tripura, areca nut requirement is said to be fulfilled by outside supply (of course, there is no official record) and, it is probably due to such situation, market buoyancy has been persisting now-a-days.

Future looks bright:

     Areca nut, it is probably one of the easy to establish plantation crops available in the state. It is even sometimes observed that, some areca nut seedlings naturally comes up with least botheration and care by the farm owners or others. However, it is only large plantation through which market realization would come.

Areca nut profitability can be realized in the following ways:

       • Areca nut cultivation in acreage in the upland or high land
       • Utilization of otherwise fallow land for Areca nut cultivation
       • Planting of Areca nut seedling in and around the bundh area and also in other areas as an inter crop.
  Another positive aspect of Areca nut plantation is; if taken up in acreage would also be suitable for other crawler or line crops like Black pepper and Beetle leaves thereby maximizing the farm profit from the Areca nut cultivation.
                                           Agritangkol dated 20-02-12

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I very like the proposal of Areca nut & it is very profitable for our state if the agricultural department take the right decision.