Manufacturers blame it on hike in raw material cost
BERHAMPUR: Price rise has hit the manufacturers of ‘dhanu muan’, a ritualistic sweet meat of Orissa. The price of sugar has doubled within a year. Cost of cashewnuts, another major ingredient of this special seasonal sweet, has also gone up. It has compelled the manufacturers to increase the price of ‘dhanu muan’. But the manufacturers claim they could not increase the price of their produce in proportion to the increased price of raw materials as it may have hampered the sales of ‘dhanu muan’.
According to Jayakrushna Samal, a ‘dhanu muan’ manufacturer of the city, last year during the season of this sweet in December, the price of sugar was around Rs.18 a kg. It has now rose to Rs. 36 per kg. He is also worried about the increase in price of cashewnuts by Rs. 30 to 40 per kg during past one week.
The price of ‘dhanu muan’ has also increased this year. The ‘muan’ prepared with the use of ‘desi ghee’ has been fixed at Rs. 180 per kilo. There has been a hike of Rs. 20 in the price in comparison to last season. Similarly the general ‘dhanu muan’ which was selling for Rs. 60 per kg last year is being sold for Rs. 70 a kg this year.
It may be noted that ‘dhanu muan’ of Ganjam district is famous throughout the state. The ‘muan’ is ritualistically prepared and sold between ‘Dhanu Sankranti’ and ‘Makar Sankranti’. Although this sweet is prepared during other months, people prefer to buy it during its annual season. According to the manufacturers, ‘dhanu muan’ prepared in Ganajm district is related to the economic history of this region. Since long, people of Orissa used to prepare ‘muan’ for ritualistic offering during puja on Dhanu Sankranti. But the ‘muan’ was being prepared with jaggery. One of the first sugar mills on eastern coast had come up at Aska in Ganjam district during British era. The sweet manufacturers of Ganjam were the first ones in Orissa to use sugar to prepare sweets replacing traditional jaggery. So, their ‘Dhanu muan’ had provided them a unique position in the traditional sweet market of the State.