Guam – Guam may soon lift its ban in the importation of betel nuts from the CNMI after officials from the two U.S. territories initiated talks regarding the move.
The Saipan Tribune is reporting that currently the CNMI cannot ship its betel nut produce to Guam. The ban was caused by the spread of the bud rot disease, a fungi infection that affected betel nut trees on Saipan.
Growing betel nut used to be a big business among farmers in the Commonwealth since they were allowed to market their produce to Guam.
There are close to 120,000 betel nut trees in production on Saipan. The ban in the importation of betel nut from the CNMI resulted in Guam importing only betel nut from Yap.
Betel but growers are also expected to take advantage of Arctic Circle Air’s cheaper cargo service.
The new carrier said its service will enable the shipment of CNMI betel nut to Guam and “begin to stimulate the economy and could even begin to grow the economy back gradually.”
Mark Rabago, PNC News, Saipan.