Vol. 16 No. 2
Indigenous technical knowledge in processing of date palm juice and its implications on livelihood in Nadia district of West Bengal
Abstract: Silver date palm, Phoenix sylvestris, also known as Khejur Palm, is one of the most important sugar-producing plants in West Bengal. In West Bengal, P. sylvestris grows naturally in fallow lands, pond bank, agricultural field, and homestead, mostly in a neglected condition. The tapping of the Silver date palm is an age-old practice in rural West Bengal, and it is of considerable importance due to its contribution to the rural economy. Some Palm species can produce sap round the year, but P. sylvestris produces sap seasonally. This study was conducted in Nadia district of West Bengal to study the present status of Phoenix sylvestris plants in rural areas, to find out the Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) regarding tapping and processing of sap and to access the livelihood of plant owners and tappers. Further, the problems faced by the date palm plant owners and tappers were studied to suggest recommendations for the improvement of their livelihoods where the tapping and harvesting of sap were performed entirely by the male members. In contrast, both sexes performed planting, processing of sap, and maintenance of palms. The contribution to family income from wild date palm among different categories of farmers ranges from 9.4 – 28 percent.
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