Kathmandu [Nepal], January 4 (ANI): With the fall in mercury, Nepal prepares to celebrate the season with the sweetener, molasses. As the season kicks in, Anish Maharjan and his family members and workers gets busier than usual.
The aroma of boiling stacks of sugar lumps starts filling the air around his home which is located in Tokha, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which is popular for first-class molasses which has high demand in the market.
“From dawn till dusk, molasses from 10 sacks full of a lump of sugar are prepared on a daily basis. On average we make molasses of around 500 kilograms,” said Maharjan.
Further adding “Some shopkeepers visit and take away their orders. Moreover, tourists come here to purchase molasses. In a season, we make gross Nepali Rupees 2 million by making and selling molasses.”
However, the making of molasses is seasonal and the industry only works full-fledged for just two months in a year. Rest of the time the people would indulge in farming and other supporting business.
“It’s already been 25-30 years since I started to make molasses. My parents use to make it before me and then I learned the technique from them and continued it. Now my sons make the molasses,” Maharjan’s father Nuhuchhe Narayan Shrestha said.
Tokha, an ancient settlement inside Kathmandu Valley, is believed to have been in existence from Malla Period, long before the unification of Nepal by Prithivi Narayan Shah and currently has around 15 molasses-making home-based industries.
The word “Tokha” have an appendage from a Newari word “Tyokha” meaning sweet and molasses were the main product of this place which has continued over the centuries.
As many as 11 hundred grams of sugar lumps, ‘Bheli’, are needed to prepare one kilogram of molasses and the producers only can make a profit of Rs 15-20 through the sales.
There is no official statistic or data about the consumption and production of molasses nor the number of people engaged in this business. (ANI)