MALKANGIRI:With summer at its peak, the demand for palm fruit has gone up in the town. This has come as a blessing for the sellers of the fruit, mostly belonging to Koya tribe. Commuters line up in front of Circuit House to buy the fruit from Koya tribe vendors. These tribals come from various remote villages and sit under the ‘peepal’ tree in front of the Circuit House here.
This spot in the town turns into a temporary fruit market each time these tribals gather here during summer. “I regularly stop here to buy the fruit for my family. This place has turned into a hub for these seasonal vendors. They sell the fruit at an affordable price,” said Gopal Ranjan, a regular buyer of the fruit.Locals claimed that not all traders sell the fruit at affordable rates. While some of them sold a dozen for `40, others increased the rate by`20, locals said.
“At times, we do not get time to take a break as there is huge rush of customers,” said palm tree climber, Era Madkami, from Tumsapalli village under Korukonda panchayat in the district.Meanwhile, locals have given up artificial drinks to relish nature’s gift for beating the heat. For instance, locals consume palmyra palm or sugar palm jelly seeds (toddy palm) during this time of the year. Sugar palm fruits are available across the town during summer. Demand for natural coolants such as fruit juices, coconut water, sugarcane juice and watermelon has also increased.