SME Dept looks to support toddy-palm beverage

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A man climbs a toddy tree to collect palm juice. Photo: Aye Min Soe

The Department of Small and Medium Enterprises is ready to provide technological support to producers who are interested in production of value-added toddy-palm beverages in Myanmar, said an official from the department.
“Technological support is available for making value-added products based on toddy-palm in the country,” Director U Swe Tint told The Global New Light of Myanmar daily.
The department received enquiries from five manufacturers who have interest in value-added toddy-palm beverages, added the director.
“Manufacturers have to own machines for processing the value-added products. It is important to have the markets for their products.”
According to the department, works are underway to have access to the international market for the value-added toddy-palm beverages and crafts.
In the ASEAN region, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Philippines are exporting toddy-palm drinks and alcoholic beverages to the international market.
In Myanmar, such production based on toddy-palm is seen on a manageable scale in the central part of the country where NyaungU and Kyaukpadaung produce 1000 tons of jiggery a year contributing 60 per cent to the country’s consumption.
According to locals, those who earn a living in toddy-palm business have moved to other towns to find new jobs due to impact of low toddy-palm product price on their livelihoods.
With the aim of developing value-added toddy-palm products in Myanmar, the department conducted paper-reading sessions and workshops involving faculty members and experts in Yangon and Bagan recently.
Environmentalists suggested that country’s green economy and environmental conservation be realized by improving livelihoods of toddy-palm farmers.

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