Kerala

Kudumbashree pins its hopes on Onam sales

A Kudumbashree unit at Venjaramoodu preparing chips for Supplyco's Onam kits for ration cardholders.  

Karthika Food Products, a five-member Kudumbashree unit in Kottukal panchayat that has been struggling to survive in the wake of COVID-19, is looking forward to sales from sarkara varatti (jaggery-coated banana chips) and banana chips that have been included in the Supplyco’s Onam kits this year.

The unit is among the 11 Kudumbashree units in the district that are supplying the munchies for inclusion in the Onam kits to be distributed to ration card-holders.

The Kudumbashree has received orders for 2.37 lakh packets of sarkara varatti and 5,000 packets of banana chips of 100 gm each in the district, bringing much relief to the units.

Karthika Food Products used to manufacture food products such as banana and jackfruit chips, banana powder, sarkara varatti chips, and tapioca chips and powder for sale in Kudumbashree trade fairs, monthly markets, and so on, says its president Latha V. They even employed 10 women to help them with the manufacture of the food products. COVID-19, though, hit their business hard, with sales falling drastically. The only sales were at the Agro Super Bazaar at Pazhavangady.

“The business has been brought to its knees. Each time we got ready to resume business and made purchases of raw materials and ingredients, restrictions put a stop to that. Stuff just got spoilt. The farming that we undertook as a joint liability group brought some money, but the rains have played spoilsport,” says Ms. Latha.

Even the plantain that she cultivated was damaged in the rain and could not be used for making the chips. The plantain for the chips were bought from outside vendors.

Ms. Latha is now pinning her hopes on earnings from the sale of chips.

Navajith M., district programme manager, marketing, Kudumbashree District Mission, says a 100-gm packet of chips will fetch ₹29.12, including GST. In all, sales of ₹65 lakh are expected from the Onam kits.

The chips are supplied by the units directly to the Supplyco depots in Thiruvananthapuram, Neyyattinkara, Nedumangad, and Attingal.

A Kudumbashree unit has started a packaging business too in order to help units that do not have packaging facilities.

Besides these units, the Onam business will also benefit manufacturers of cloth bags who are supplying bags used for the Onam kits. Twenty-one Kudumbashree units have received orders for a total of 1.95 lakh cloth bags. They expect to earn ₹25.35 lakh from the sale of the bags.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 4:22:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kudumbashree-units-pin-hope-on-sales-from-onam-kits/article35747701.ece

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