Rising demand for nira kelapa

Sweet success: Ismail checking the collection of nira in Kampung Batu Putih in Terengganu. — Bernama

MARANG: Every Ramadan, 100 participants of the Cluster Land Plan (RTB) in Kampung Batu Putih here will be busy selling nira kelapa (coconut shoot nectar) to meet the high demand during the fasting month.

Nira kelapa seller and collector Ismail Sulaiman, 60, said the demand was almost five times higher than during any other month.

“On average, I can sell 40 litres of nira per day. The demand from the public is very high. The stock is very limited, so I give priority to customers who make early bookings.

“There are also many small traders who want to buy nira from my farm for resale in 500ml bottles at a price of RM5 to RM7, but I have to turn down their offer because there is not enough stock at the moment, ” he said when met at the village yesterday.

Pok Nasir, as he is affectionately known, said he sells a 10-litre pack of nira kelapa for RM50 and a 1.5-litre pack for RM11 during Ramadan.

“Nira kelapa from Kampung Batu Putih is special because the soil is said to have more minerals due to the fact the village is located by the river, ” he said.

Currently, there are 40.5ha of coconut plantations cultivated by 100 participants under the Kampung Batu Putih RTB and they are able to produce 300 litres of nira kelapa every day.

Dataran Batu Putih chairman Noor Azman Hasan said all 100 RTB participants had agreed to set up a cooperative to boost sales of their nira kelapa.

“We are in the process of establishing a one-stop collection centre for nira kelapa, complete with a high-tech freezer so that the stock is sufficient during Ramadan.

“Right now, there is a lot of demand from Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Selangor but we can’t meet the demand because there is no systematic storage system, ” he said.

Noor Azman said he hoped that government departments and agencies or private companies would be willing to help the 100 participants establish the one-stop collection centre at an estimated cost of RM250,000. — Bernama

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