Thiruvananthapuram: The annual Onam fairs in Kerala will begin on August 11 and will be open for the next ten days. G R Anil, Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, announced the fairs, saying they would sell mostly traditional farm produce.
“While the state-level fairs will be inaugurated at Putharikandam ground in the state capital, similar arrangements will be made at all district centres.” Furthermore, on August 14, Onam fairs will be held alongside Supplyco outlets in each of Kerala’s 140 assembly constituencies,” said the Minister. Special banana counters will be set up at all of the fairs, he added.
Meanwhile, 26 Maveli stores will open in various districts before the end of July. In the Thiruvananthapuram region, 17 of them are planned. According to the Minister, orders have been issued to sell only high-quality items in Maveli stores. Work on converting six Maveli stores in the Palakkad region into “super stores” has also been completed, according to Anil.
Items in the Onam kit
Regarding the Onam kits that will be distributed to ration card holders, the Minister stated that the cardamom, ghee, cashew nuts, dried rice, and ‘sarkara varatti’ that will be included in the kits will be sourced from farmers, public sector units, and cooperative societies in Kerala, based on their request.
At the same time, the cloth bags for the kits will be purchased from Kudumbashree, and the bananas and vegetables will be purchased from state farmers’ cooperatives.
Expenses associated with kits
According to the Minister, the government expects the Onam kits to cost around Rs 500 crore. “From September 2020 to last month, the state provided free food kits for a total cost of Rs 5,500 crore,” Anil explained.
So far, 10 crore kits have been distributed to 85 lakh ration card holders in Kerala.