Betelnut prices soar in Moresby

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, December 30, 2010


BETELNUT prices in Port Moresby have gone up last week leaving chewers and betelnut sellers disappointed.

However, for some, selling betelnut was their main source of income to sustain their living in the city so they just have to put up with the situation.

Anna Koteme, a regular betelnut seller outside bemobile office at Waigani, said that a 10kg betelnut bag would cost around K200-K300.

Koteme is from Pangia, Southern Highlands, and is married with two children.

Her husband works as a security guard at bemobile and she would normally go there to sell her betelnut as a way of supporting them.

“Mipela kisim hat taim long baim buai olsem na mipela salim olsem K1 na K2 long wanpela buai (We are having a hard time buying betelnut that’s why we are selling a betelnut for K1 and K2),” Koteme said.

Betelnuts in the city are now going for K1 and K2 with split betelnut at K1.

Martha Mejiwor, an employee of bemobile, said that with the increase in betelnut prices, she spent around K10 for just betelnut in a day.

“After few long hours at work, it’s good to get out of the office and chew betelnut to get our minds refreshed,” Mejiwor said.

Meanwhile, she also raised concerns about the manner in which some young men, who claimed to be members of the city rangers, approaching them and removing their betelnut and other items that they are selling.

Bystanders at the scene also expressed the same sentiments that the city rangers should be in recognised uniforms with identification cards.

And they also said the city rangers should approach the betelnut sellers along the streets in a proper manner.