Why is Fox Nuts so expensive?

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Makhana, also known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, has surged in popularity as a preferred snack due to its impressive health benefits. Considered a nutritional powerhouse, it is praised for its high antioxidant content, abundance of micronutrients, and assistance in weight loss.

Bihar stands as the primary producer of this superfood, contributing a staggering 90% to the world’s overall production. In a notable recognition of its regional significance, the ‘Mithila Makhana’ was granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the government in August 2022, a move aimed at supporting and empowering local farmers.

The entire process involved in transforming this seed into a consumable snack is labor-intensive and meticulous, as described by makhana.org.

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The first critical step involves the collection of seeds, a task that demands skilled labor. Skilled farmers undertake this harvesting process from 9 am to 4 pm, navigating muddy ponds with long bamboo poles to gather the seeds from plants featuring spiky thorns at their base.

Following collection, the seeds proceed to cleaning and storage. Stored in a device called ‘gaanja,’ the seeds undergo a meticulous two-step cleaning process before being sun-dried for a few hours.

Subsequently, the processed seeds undergo grading, wherein they are sorted according to their sizes through ten different sieves.

Further processing involves the seeds being heated in cast iron pans or earthen pitchers over a fire. After this, they undergo a tempering process, where they are left at ambient temperatures for three days. Post-tempering, they are roasted, popped, polished, and meticulously packaged, finally becoming ready for consumption.

This intricate and thorough process, from collection to packaging, speaks volumes about the labor, skill, and precision involved in bringing this nutritious and beloved snack, makhana, to the market for consumers to enjoy its benefits.