Markham Villagers: Life After Betel Nut Beg

People inthe Markham district are still struggling to adjust totheir financial woes caused by a bug that destroyedtheir Betel Nut trees.


Villagers that once had benefited from Betel Nut growing intheir back yard are now buying from boats coming from Popondetta and ther remote areas in Morobe province.

Markham people watched as one oftheir main source of income drlied up fromthe top down.


Betel Nut in Markham is scarce, forcing people to buy and resell for very small profits.

They have had to adjusttheir living after so many years of making serious money from Betel Nut sales.


 Doris Jefter recalls how Eight years ago, Markham betel nut faced a dilemma similar to that affecting cocoa and coconut trees in parts ofthe Momase region and New GuineaIslands.


“Allthe Betel Nut just drlied up atthe same time,” she said.

Lavinia Siru says Betel Nut profits go into buying goods for trade stores that now remain close and it also pays for schools fees and healthcare.


“We spend around four hundred kina to purchase Betel Nutobutthe profit generated is very low,” she said.

Bethe end of 2006there wasn’t any Betel Nut tree left for sales that would supplythe seven provinces ofthe highlands and generate money for the people’s coffers.

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