“WE, residents around Wetthe Lake, make a healthy profit mainly from lotus fiber production,” said Daw Moe Moe, one of the producers of lotus fiber.
Located in Salin Township in the Minbu District of Magway Region, Wetthe Lake is filled with lotus plants and is thus the natural habitat of a wide variety of bird species. Residents in Anaukkanbaung, Aunghline, Tamachaung and Hsinkyone villages rely heavily on the lotus fiber business for profits.
“Fibers have traditionally been extracted within days after the lotus stems are fresh. We cut about three inches of lotus stem and pull out their spongy fibers by twisting and hand rolling together on a wooden table”, said Daw Moe Moe.
She said she exports raw lotus fibers to the Inlay area, earning about Ks400,000 per viss (approximately 3.6 pounds). These are the raw materials used to create the special cloth used for the robes of Buddhist monks.
In addition, the leaves of lotus plants have also been sold to food sellers for Ks100 for 30 leaves that are used for packaging.
Different species of colourful lotus have been found in different parts of the lake. The plants produce a single bloom in the Myanmar months of Tabaung, Tagu, Kasone, Nayone, Waso, Wagaung and Tawthalin.