TIRUVALLA: Tapioca, popularly known as kappa across the state, is one of the hot favourites in the menu of Malayalees. Sold for Rs 30 to Rs 40 per kg in retail markets in the state, the humble kappa has attained VIP status and is being sold for a whopping Rs 489 per kg on popular e-commerce site Amazon. After discount, one can have it for Rs 299. This listing comes close on the heels of reports of coconut shells being listed for Rs 3,000.
The seller ‘Worth2Deal’ will deliver the tapioca within six days without refrigerating it. While replying to a customer’s query on the site, the seller said the deal was primarily meant for those who are not from Kerala. “Hence, they will have to ship the item from Kerala in a speed mode, and that’s why the price was increased to nearly Rs 500,” they said.
The price also includes shipping, packing and Amazon Listing Charges. The seller said there were significant sales, especially from non-resident Keralites.
The price increase is also attributed to tapioca becoming an item on five-star hotel menus. Dried tapioca, meanwhile, is sold for Rs 100 in stores while on the e-commerce site, it is listed at Rs 199. However, it seems the benefits are not percolating to the farmers. Ajaykumar, an organic farmer said: “This is a sign and the Department of Agriculture should take steps for commencing an e-commerce facility for farmers. There is no opportunity for farmers to get a better price for their produce.”