TUMPAT, May 16 -- The production of ‘Gula Melaka’ or jaggery is affected here every Ramadan, as its main ingredient, the coconut sap, is used instead to make ‘nira water’ or ‘tuak’ - a popular drink in the state.
Jaggery trader Mohd Asri Saffien, 55, of Kampung Kelong, said nira water was also easier to process than Gula Melaka, which would often take hours to make.
"Indeed, the demand for Gula Melaka has not decreased, and I have been unable to meet the demand from customers, including from Kuala Lumpur, due to the lack of raw materials," he told reporters after receiving a visit from Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister II Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi at the group project site for the commodity here, today.
It is understood that nira water can now sell for between RM5 for 500ml and RM12 to RM15 for 1.5L.
Meanwhile, Che Abdullah, when met, said participants had been working on the 100-hectare site project since 1988, and it was still being monitored by Agriculture Department.
"We can see the success of participants who are still part of the project.
“Here, we can see the potential of producing jaggery, so the younger generation should take this opportunity, and with a little bit of aid from technology, we can surely produce better quality products, in turn promising a better income," he said.
According to Che Abdullah, about 317 hectares of land in Tumpat was being used to grow coconut trees, including 80 hectares under the supervision of the Agriculture Department.
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