NYPA FRUTICANS: A POTENTIAL PLANT SPECIES AS A SOURCE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR MALAYSIA
The multi-uses of nypa palm (Nypa fruticans) which includes: foods (attap chee, neera (the sweet sap), brown sugar, candy and aromatic tea); special uses (attaps from thatched leaflets); decorative household items (woven into mats, baskets, hats or handbags); cigarette wrappers (from the young unexpanded leaflet); and ethanol from neera as bio-fuel, should turn this palm into a special plant species with a great economic contribution. Nypa palm is considered a mangrove plant species and normally does not compete with other type of plants, as it grows mostly in clusters in areas that are unsuitable for most other plant types. Since the natural environment of this palm is quite challenging, strategic efforts must be made to successfully domesticate this palm. Apart from its multi-uses, the most critical requirement for this palm is the current lack of scientific basis behind the traditional practices in producing the neera. Thus research and development is very much in need for this palm in both upstream and downstream activities such as nursery management for production of quality nypa seedlings, optimum planting density, agronomic practices, the tapping technique, harvesting methods, storage, processing and product development. Effective technologies would ensure nypa palm could be turned into a source of economic growth for Malaysia.
Wan Zaki, W.M., Mansor, P. and Omar, T. (2013). NYPA FRUTICANS: A POTENTIAL PLANT SPECIES AS A SOURCE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR MALAYSIA. Acta Hortic. 979, 233-239
nypa palm, neera, current status, future directions