The Thottiyam Banana Producer Group, which established a solar dryer for producing value-added banana products, has been badly affected due to demonetisation of high denomination notes.
The group, which took up the process of making banana chocolate about three years ago, has been forced to suspend production. “Overnight, our business has come to a standstill due to demonetisation. We have suspended production,” said Manikutti Subramanian, Managing Director of the Company.
The State government had, about six months ago, sanctioned two more solar dryers based on the successful performance of the first solar dryer. The group was also producing banana powder and other products.
Dheenadayalan, working partner of the company, said that the group’s business was largely based on cash transactions. “Traders found it difficult to take delivery of consignment from us due to the shortage of lower denomination currencies,” he said. Orders have also dried up as retail traders had been making only cash payments.
G. Ajithan, one of the founders and advisor, who explained the advantages of primary value addition in agricultural produce, said that 300 kg of fruit is dried every day which is reduced to 25 per cent of its weight at the end of the day.
As Thottiyam Banana Producer Group’s business is largely based on cash transactions, it has suspended production