Bali’s Snake Fruit Salak Growers Face Low Prices Due to Bountiful Harvest
The salak farmers of Karangasem in East Bali are in the middle of the season for Bali’s fabled “Snake Fruit” (Salacca zalacca). Because of a bountiful crop and the resulting seasonal oversupply the price of salaks has plummeted to just Rp. 1,500 (US$0.12) per kilogram.
I Komang Seni, a salak farmer in Karangasem, quoted by the State News Agency Antara, said, “This situation happens every harvest season with the salak farmers always suffering a loss.” Seni went on to jibe that the “sweetness” of the salak evades those who cultivate the fruit because of the depressed prices experienced when it comes into season.
Salaks purchased from farmers for Rp. 1,500 are sold to the public for between Rp. 1,600 – Rp. 2,000 per kilogram.
In order to preserve some small profit for themselves, farmers are bypassing salak distributors and bringing their produce directly to local markets or attempting to sell their salaks directly to the public.
To eliminate the excess supply of salaks on the market, farmers are also selling the fruit to confectionary producers (dodol), dehydrated salak chip producers (keripik) and salak wine makers.
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