Betel nut is a combination of three ingredients. People roll small pieces of the nut from Areca catechu, more commonly called betel palm, in a leaf from the Piper betel vine, then add powdered slaked lime or limestone paste, and chew it. The substance is popular in certain parts of the world, primarily Asia and Africa, Some components of betel nut have pharmacological properties, but little evidence supports its use for any therapeutic purpose.
Areca nut is widely used mainly in the Asian and South East Asian population. It is normal that after having food in India people use areca nut along with the betel leaves as a digester in small quantities.
Rope or Brushes
Betel nut’s medical use is limited, and long-term negative reactions to betel quid chewing are well known. A decrease in positive symptoms among men with schizophrenia was attributed to betel nut consumption.
India is the major producer and consumer of arecanut in the world. Production is concentrated in six states, namely Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Arecanut is the major plantation crop of coastal and southern districts of the country under assured irrigation facility. The ever increasing demand for areca products like paan, supari and gutkha has led to continuous increase in arecanut prices worldwide. The processing methods, maturity and consumer preferences influence the types of arecanut products prepared. Area and production shares show that Karnataka leads with 46 per cent of area and 47 per cent of production, followed by Kerala with 24 and 23 per cent, respectively.
Globally it is primarily grown in India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Myanmar. India leads the production followed by China and Bangladesh.
India is the highest producer of arecanut with a production of around 3.3 lakh tonnes and a total acreage under cultivation of 2.64 lakh hectares, with Karnataka and Kerala accounting for nearly 72 per cent of the total production.
Over six million people are engaged in arecanut cultivation, processing and trade. More than 85 per cent of the area under cultivation is made up of small and marginal holdings.
Among the two varieties white nuts have a share of 60 per cent. India is also the largest consumer with around 3.2 lakh tonnes.
Areca nut is majorly influenced by weather conditions in the production area, government policies, the growth of consumer industries, government policies for consumer industries and a few others. The regular consumption of areca nut causes severe diseases such as throat cancer and mouth cancer. Due to a significant number of people affected by the consumption of areca nut, the Indian and several governments have posed various regulations over the areca nut production and consumer industries. This fact has restrained the market for areca nut. Also, the increasing awareness among people regarding healthy life style and severe effects of areca nut have resulted into a barrier for areca nut market. As the pre-bearing age of the palm trees is between 5 to 8 years, and only 5% of them result into seed set, the cultivation of areca nut consumes a lot of time. The time required for cultivation of areca nut and required environmental conditions such as minimum 70% humidity restrains the market at the supplier end. The demand for areca nut and its products has been increasing steadily in India