Blackberry a hit among Odisha’s diabetic patients this summer
DHENKANAL: Demand for blackberries, commonly known as ‘jamun,’ increases during summer in the district.
Blackberry is an important summer fruit associated with many health and medicinal benefits. This fruit is also a boon for diabetic patients.
Locals, including youths and women, are making brisk business by collecting and selling the juicy and delicious fruits on the roadside.
Its sale has increased in the district as ‘jamuns’ are available in plenty during summer season. As many as 5,000 vendors eke out their living by selling ‘jamun’ in the summer from April to June.
Though there is no statistics available with the district horticulture office, thousands of ‘jamun’ trees have been grown along Dhenkanal-Athagarh-Cuttack, Dhenkanal-Kapilash-Gondia roads and other areas.
Vendors are selling ripe ‘jamun’ at Rs 120 per kg while large size ‘jamuns’ are being sold at Rs 150 per kg.
Local youths and women collect the fruits using mosquito nets.
While one climbs the trees and shakes its branches, others collect the fruits using nets on the ground. They sell the fruits on the spot at Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg while it is being sold at Rs 120 to Rs 150 per kg in the markets.
A youth said, “While customers demand a juicy and sweet ‘jamun,’ some vendors in the markets artificially sweeten this delicious and health-giving fruit. People prefer to buy jamun from roadside vendors.”
“We earn around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per day by selling the seasonal fruits. As jamun fruit and leaves are good for a diabetes patient, its demand remains high during the summer.
The black plum has anti-diabetic features and helps convert starch into energy and keeps blood sugar level in check,” said a vendor Bikash Dehury of Mahisapat.
An entrepreneur Kishor Chandra Sahoo said he collects ‘jamun’ from villagers and dries it for five to 10 days. Later, the dried fruits are crushed and its dusts are packed for sale.
“We sell ‘jamun dust’ for the entire year and diabetic patients buy the product. We sell it at Rs 40 per 100 gram at ORMAS fair,” he said.
Iswar Chandra Sahoo, a diabetic patient, said, “I frequently buy this refreshing fruit for my family and kids.”