YAP PLANNING BETEL NUT PLANTATION

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YAP, Federated States of Micronesia (February 22, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Pacific Business Center News)---Yap is known throughout Micronesia as having some of the finest betel nuts and a grower there plans to cash in on the crop’s business potential.

Betel nuts are already one of Yap’s most valuable crops, but Frances Reg says they have yet to be developed as a year-round plantation business.

Reg says an irrigation system, to provide water during the annual dry season, and the replacement of older trees (a type of areca palm) at the end of their productivity will enable him to create a full-time betel nut plantation.

Reg, with help from the Pacific Business Center at the University of Hawai‘i, recognized the virtually untapped commercial market for betel nuts and plans to sell his product throughout Micronesia.

Betel nuts have been chewed in South Asia and Africa, as well as the Pacific, for centuries, in a manner similar to tobacco.

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