The Swayasraya Karshaka Vipanies (SKVs) of the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) have started procurement of vegetables and consumer items in view of Onam season.

A subsidy of 25 per cent was given to the consumers at the Onam stalls which opened on Saturday.

Of the 24 SKVs in the district, prime business is taking place in Santhigram, Thopramkudy, Daivamedu,Thankamani, Rajamudy, Parathode and Kamakshy.

An official of the VFPCK said the Onam season vegetables will be sent from the SKVs to main markets in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Changanassery, Aluva, Perumbavoor and Ernakulam from Monday onwards.

The official said there is shortage of vegetables in Vattavada and Kanthallur, the main cool season vegetable areas, due to erratic monsoon. Cabbage, carrot and potato are the vegetables that have suffered the most.

Ginger, coconut and banana varieties have already started to arrive in the SKVs. Though there is a shortage of tomato and bitter-gourd, the farmers expect a rise in their prices in the coming days. Bean varieties are also being made available in the SKVs though its main harvesting season is mid-September.

The banana varieties especially the ‘nenthran’ is being sold in the SKVs at Rs. 26 per kilogram. During the last Onam season it was priced at Rs. 35. The ‘njalippoovan’ variety is being sold in the SKVs at Rs. 34 per kilogram. Njalippoovan prices have been on an upward trend from the beginning of last week. As the ‘nenthran’ is the most favourite item for Onam, its prices are likely to increase in the coming days, said the official.

The SKVs function only two days in a week, but the days vary for different SKVs. During the prime festival season each SKV earns between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 4 lakh a day. The vegetables reaching the SKVs are mostly local varieties and they are in good demand in the State markets, said the official. 

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