Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], Aug 30 (ANI): Amid the ongoing Onam festivities, shopkeepers selling banana chips in Kerala are facing hardships as their business has been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to traders, they have not regained profits after COVID-19 lockdown.
Banana chips and Sarkaravaratty are a significant part of the Onam feast, and the sale of these food items soar during the Onam season. The chips are mostly prepared in coconut oil and are available in a variety of flavors. During Onam, Sarkaravaratty sells for around Rs 360 per kg, and banana chips are sold for Rs 380 per kg.
However, this year, shops were closed for around five months due to the coronavirus lockdown. Even after the government announced relaxations, the sale of banana chips dropped significantly. Shopkeepers said that the prices of bananas have also increased in the state, leading to a surge in prices of banana chips.
Usually, the preparation of banana chips for the Onam celebrations starts two weeks before the festival, but this year the preparations for the celebrations were downsized in the state owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While speaking to ANI, Jayakumar said that "There is more demand for chips and Sarkaravaratty. I collected raw banana from Tamil Nadu this year due to its unavailability here. This year we could not stock items as shops were closed due to lockdown and since we reopened unexpectedly, we are unable to deliver items to people. The cost of bananas is also high and they are being sold for around Rs 60 per kg."
"People are coming to buy chips but we do have enough stock. Corona has affected our business adversely. Due to the lockdown, our staff also left, and they were mostly from Tamil Nadu and other states. Now around three persons have been appointed for the work and I am also working," added Kumar.
"Corona has affected our business. The shops were closed in the lockdown period and we opened the shop around two weeks back. This year, the number of customers who come to buy banana chips is very less," said Anil Kumar, another shop owner.
Onam festivities, which started from August 22, will continue till September 2.
Onam falls in the month of Chingam, which is the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar. The celebrations spread over ten days mark the Malayalam New Year and conclude with Thiruvonam. (ANI)