Arecanut-Harvest and storage
Arecanut starts bearing at 5 to 8 years after planting. The fruits will take 8-9 months to reach maturity. The stage at which nuts are to be harvested depends upon the type of nuts required for the market.
Arecanut is harvested by climbing the tree and pulling the bunches. Mechanical harvesters are also available. Three or four plucking are done during the whole season.
The most popular trade type of arecanut is the dried, whole nut known as chali or kottapak. Fully ripe, nine months old fruits having yellow to orange red colour is the best suited for the above purpose.
Ripe fruits are dried in the sun for 35 to 40 days on dry leveled ground. The fruits are then dehusked and the kernals are scooped out. The separated kernals are then given a final drying.
Another processed product of arecanut is kalipak. Nuts of 6 to 7 months maturity with dark green colour are used for this purpose. Nuts are dehusked, cut into pieces and boiled with water having the extract of previous boiling.
Kali is the concentrated extract obtained from boiling 3 to 4 batches of Kalipak. A coating of kali is given to the boiled nuts.