JAGGERY in NyaungU Township, Mandalay Region, fetched up to K2,500 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in the early toddy palm female season after harvesting palm male.
The price of jaggery is worth K2,000 in the early toddy season and usually falls to K1,200 per viss during the abundant harvest. The price jumped to K2,000-K2,500 per viss during the toddy palm female season, Daw Than Than Myint from Taungshay village said.
The business is physically demanding but less secure. The toddy palm plant climbers and jaggery makers closely observe the market to produce the jaggery. The growers explained that before the toddy sap collection season, they have to prepare kilns, fuel, earthen pots, and other utensils.
A pot can hold two litres of toddy sap, and a viss of jaggery can be produced if you boil five pots.
Last year, jaggery fetched K2,000. The price rose to K2,500 per viss this year, a grower U Aye Han elaborated.
There is a vast area of toddy palm farm in NyaungU Township. However, the jaggery cannot keep up with the sugar business. Moreover, the local jaggery business is less popular among young people. Earlier, all the villagers solely relied on toddy palm cultivation. A grower said the number of toddy palm farmers dropped by half.
The toddy palm tree climbing is a traditional business in Ngathayauk town in NyaungU District. Yet, the business is not financially secure. Consequently, the local people migrate to South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia for agriculture and hard labour jobs.
The toddy palm tree climbers and jaggery makers closely observe the market to produce the jaggery. — Ko Htein KPD/GNLM