Tuesday, 6 January 2009 1:09 PM

Betel-Nut Shortage Hikes Price

Hike in price is now taking its toll around all betel-nut stalls in Honiara.

The once $1 per fruit has hiked up to $2 which, according to betel-nut chewers, is "very expensive".

A man at the main market, Cliff Sara, told Solomon Times that reason to the betel-nut price rise is due to shortage of the fruit.

"We are experiencing high shortage, which often occurs around this time of the year and it has been scarce since December," he said.

Solomon Times was informed that scarcity of the most-loved fruit should ease up come next month, February.

Mr. Sara said that the increase is taking place not just in the capital but also in provincial markets.

"Betel-nut vendors in places like Auki usually sell for 20 cents per fruit or a dollar per heap but now it's gone up to 70 cents per fruit," he said.

Mr. Sara however adds that despite the rise, "chewers are still sparing coins for a betel-nut or two each day".

He said that increasing the cost by a dollar is gaining him good profit despite the low supply period.