It looked as if the Malayalam New Year arrived a few days early in the city as Kochiites gathered in large numbers at the organic agricultural fairs on Tuesday, nearly emptying the sales counters and asking for more.
About half a tonne of vegetables, ripe mangoes and other fruits as well as rice were sold at different venues. Organisers of the eleventh Organic Kerala Agricultural Fair said the rush at its counters at the Ernakulam Town Hall had begun before forenoon and it continued to increase throughout the day.
The demand was mostly for mangoes from different parts of the State, including Palakkad and tuber crops that included yams and colocasia. The fair is on till Wednesday. Winter fruits like plums, organically grown bananas and jackfruit products are also big draws at the fair.
Actor Mammootty launched the sale of organically grown matta rice at the Rajendra Maidan. The stalls were crowded throughout the day.
The actor called on people to support farmers who come out with safe-to-eat produces. Vegetables from a group of farmers under the Palliakkal Service Cooperative Bank, near Paravoor, were also on sale at the counters organised by the district unit of the CPI(M).
P. Rajeev, former MP and district secretary of the CPI(M), said the party would open more stalls of organic produces at different parts of the city. These outlets would be open on Wednesdays, he said.
The organically grown rice was being sold for Rs.55 a kg while the pokkali rice was being sold for Rs.80 a kg. Officials from the Korappadam Service Cooperative Society, selling organic pokkali rice, said the demand was beyond their expectations. The farmers were enthused by the market response, said an official of the society.