It is generally agreed that palm tapping can have, potentially, undesirable side effects and the safest way to prevent these from happening is to prohibit it altogether, a measure that more than often has been applied.
However if one looks at the thousands of tons of sugar produced from the Wild date palm (Phoenix Sylvestris), the Coconut palm, Palmyra, the Sago (Caryota Urens) and the Nipa palm, the question is raised whether sugar from date palm sap would under certain circumstances not be profitable.
It is done annually and it does not remove the whole crown of leaves, thus leaving a great part of the productive capacity of the palm.
The flow of juice starts slowly but may reach full capacity after six or seven days.
It is indeed not an easy task for the legislator to intervene in the consumption of a liquid derived from a natural juice for which he gave permission to be harvested and which spontaneously has changed its properties within a matter of hours.
The fact that the natural (sweet) and the fermented juice in Arabic are known under the same name, , does not simplify the matter either.
Yields of juice are, because of the reduced exposed surface area, much less than for the method described before, but the palms can be tapped every year, which can go on for an average of 25 years, though higher productive life spans have been recorded (32).
Together with some yield figures from literature (32) for the Wild date palm and the measured results from the earlier referred to tests between local and Indian tapping (61) some indicative figures on yields are given in Table 27.