Arecanut grown in India has received certification from China, and this has opened up new markets for farmers.
But the challenge remains the price, which is not viable for Karnataka growers because the production cost there is high, while it will help farmers in Assam.
M Suresh Bhandary, managing director, The Campco Ltd, a co-operative of areca nut and cocoa farmers, said that areca nut from the Shivamogga, Puttur, and Coimbatore regions had been processed at a plant in Puttur and after certifying its quality, it had been exported to China.
The Chinese counterparts have now shown interest in the green tender areca nut, which has retained its color. The Chinese market favored the Mohitnagar variety for its quality, he added.
Bhandary said besides the domestic market, the export market had opened up. This will help them to make up for price drops in the domestic market. Till now they did not have an option.
Campco will supply areca nut to Kou Wei Wang (King of Taste), one of the largest mouth-freshener manufacturers in China. The buyer had visited India and was happy with the raw material, said Bhandary.
There are more than 20 manufacturers of areca nut mouth-fresheners in China. As more Chinese are using mouth fresheners to quit smoking, the supply is not enough. The Campco has estimated that 90 per cent of India’s areca nut production can meet China’s demand.