The world’s largest fruit stall in Kochi is in a state of disrepair.
According to local authorities, it’s been a “very, very, very long time” since the owner has been around to fix the broken windows.
The market was originally founded by a family of traders who sold fruit at the local market, and was run by the Kochitas, who had come to the area from the neighbouring state of Kerala to sell the produce.
They eventually found themselves in Kochikota, a suburb of the city.
They had to move, so they began selling produce from their farm in the city, with the goal of providing some income for the family.
The shop, now called the “Kochi Fruit Market” in Kerala, is a very simple shop, only serving fruit and vegetables.
It was one of the few in the area, and the only one in Kochikkadam.
In 2017, when the stall’s owner, Mr. Prakash, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he decided to sell his fruit and produce.
“I started selling fruits at my stall because I wanted to help those who have lost their jobs, because we have lost a lot of jobs,” Mr. Srivats, the proprietor, told me.
“At that time, there were two to three stalls, but now there are about 10 stalls in Kochikanadam, and we’ve been doing well for the last six years.
The farmers who used to sell produce at the stall have come back to us now, and they’ve started buying produce from us,” he added.
The stall’s first two years were not easy, with Mr. Tapani, the stall owner, struggling to pay his bills.
“The shopkeeper did not know how to pay for the food and the rent, so we had to sell fruit and sell vegetables.
The price of fruit is quite high, but the vegetables are not as good.
The vegetables are cheaper, but not as much,” Mr Tapanidhi told me, referring to the prices of vegetables sold at the market.
“We had to take our own money to pay the rent for the next three years.
We’re not poor, but I’m not so good at it,” Mr Srivat added.
When the stall was officially closed in 2019, Mr Sividhi, the shopkeeper, decided to take on another job at the farm.
His brother, who also works at the family farm, helped him in this new venture.
“As soon as I was able to sell fruits, my brothers and I started buying vegetables from the stall, and after a while, we started selling vegetables at the shop,” Mr Virender, the manager, said.
“Now I’m selling vegetables for the shop, as well,” Mr Jha, who is also the manager of the shop told me when I visited Kochikanada last week.
The store’s stall has been in operation since 2009.
“This is the second year the shop is in Kochiyadam,” Mr Dharan, the general manager of Kochikodi, told Business Line.
“There were no more stalls, and now there is one stall in the town.
The owner has started to spend more time in Kochyanadam and will be back soon,” he said.
In the year that followed, Mr Dhanu, the current manager of that stall, was transferred from the family farmers’ farm to the Kochikotas’ farm.
“My family is working here now.
The owners are coming back to the farm every month.
The food is better, and there are fewer accidents,” Mr Kha, the younger of the two brothers who manages the shop at Kochikanadi, told us.
The family farm is one of around 40 in the village, which has a population of around 5,000 people.
“Our crops have not been in good condition,” Mr Bhatkar, the farmer, told Bollywood Hungama.
“It used to be bad here.
Now, it has improved,” Mr Cutham, who manages Kochikanads’ fruit and vegetable stall, said, adding that there is more space in the farm and that the market now sells produce from nearby plantations.
“After a while I thought, I want to take the responsibility and work with the farmers, and if I can do that, I will be able to help,” Mr Nachikum, who runs a fruit and veggie stall in nearby Kochi, told the news channel.
The news of the Kochiyat farmers’ livelihood is a shock to the locals.
“Why do the Kochis sell fruits?
What’s the point?
It’s not their business, so why are they selling them?”
Mr Prakatsi, who owns the business, told News Line.
According the owner, the local people here don’t understand the difference between a farmer’s crop and a fruit stall.
“Farmers don’t know how good the fruit is. When