Mangaluru

Alemane that came only as an alternative is an instant hit

Karnataka , Mangaluru : 17\02\2020 : The Alemane (traditional sugarcane crushing and processing unit) established by Umanath Shetty at Shanadi-Kedoor, off Thekkatte in Kundapura Taluk, Udupi district.PHOTO: ARRANGED 

Karnataka , Mangaluru : 17\02\2020 : The Alemane (traditional sugarcane crushing and processing unit) established by Umanath Shetty at Shanadi-Kedoor, off Thekkatte in Kundapura Taluk, Udupi district.PHOTO: ARRANGED    | Photo Credit: ARRANGED

Umanath Shetty who returned to test his luck in agriculture has set up a traditional sugarcane crushing and processing unit at Thekkatte

The Alemane (traditional sugarcane crushing and processing unit) that he set up after finding no buyers for the sugarcane grown on his field has now become an instant hit with consumers lining up to buy freshly prepared jaggery in Udupi district.

Umanath Shetty of Cherkadi, who was into hotel business in Hubballi, returned to his in-law’s place at Shanadi-Kedoor, off Thekkatte in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district, a decade ago to test his luck with agriculture. He raised sugarcane in about 12 acres; but unfortunately, the Brahmavar Cooperative Sugar Factory was not revived.

Nevertheless, the 60-year-old commerce graduate established the Alemane by spending about ₹ 5 lakh a couple of months ago to process sugarcane on his own. He does not use any chemical additives either for cultivation or for processing jaggery, Mr. Shetty said.

“We just boil the juice and later allow it to dry. Initially, I hadn’t thought of selling the product at the site; but when a few visitors showed interest in buying, I thought of directly connecting with consumers,” he told The Hindu.

His neighbour Ramachandra Bhat took marketing responsibility; and through social media and word of mouth, the Alemane became known in the region. Mr. Shetty said that while he produces about three quintals of jaggery every day, the demand is for about eight quintals.

Devidas Shanbhag, a cloth merchant from Maravanthe, vouched for Mr. Shetty’s claim saying that he had to return with just two boxes of jaggery on Sunday. Though he wanted more, he would have had to wait for three hours as the juice was still boiling in a large pan.

Wooden clock specialist and freelance photographer Dinesh C. Holla from Saligrama said that the product was mouthwatering. Unlike other jaggery in the market, Shanadi Alemane Jaggery, though solid in look, melts in one’s mouth as one tastes it, Mr. Holla said.

Mr. Shetty said that the Alemane might run for another fortnight, till the standing crops are harvested. If he gets more sugarcane from other farmers, he may continue it for some more time. He sells jaggery at ₹ 70 a kg if the customer brings his own container; it is also available for ₹ 150 in a 2-kg container.

Shanadi-Kedoor is about 93 km from Mangaluru. One has to turn right at Thekkatte on NH 66 to reach the village.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 4:20:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/alemane-that-came-only-as-an-alternative-is-an-instant-hit/article30855063.ece

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