No buyers during lockdown; farmer gives costly Kadali bananas for free


V Murali

Alex said that Kadali banana used to fetch upto Rs 100 per kilogram in Guruvayur in March first week. During seasons, the price touches Rs 130. But after lockdown was imposed, people do not want Kadali banana even if it is given for Rs 20 per kilogram.

Kadali bananas in Alex's plantation

Thrissur: When banana farmer Alex Joseph from Ayyangeri in Mundathikkode here found that the ripe Kadali bananas will perish soon with no buyers coming in the lockdown, he decided to give it for free to random people on the street. The coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown imposed soon after it gave a severe blow to Alex by causing huge loss.

Alex used to give thousands of Kadali bananas to Guruvayur temple for rituals every week. After the entry to the temple was restricted, Alex had to run after the buyers for taking the ripe bananas. Though he approached the local vendors, nobody bought them.

Alex said that Kadali banana used to fetch upto Rs 100 per kilogram in Guruvayur in March first week. During seasons, the price touches Rs 130. But after lockdown was imposed, people do not want Kadali banana even if it is given for Rs 20 per kilogram. Kadali bananas worth Rs 3 lakh were sold in Guruvayur every month. The virus outbreak affected the sales totally, said Alex.

There are about 12,000 banana plants in his 10 acre plantation. Drip irrigation method is applied for watering. Following the crisis, Alex approached the Green Army in Wadakkanchery and they connected him with a mobile vegetable stall of Vellattanjoor cooperative bank. Alex hopes that at least 10 percent of the bananas can be sold through this. He prays for total eradication of coronavirus before the month of Vaisakham starts in Guruvayur.

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