Maharashtra: Fruit Cake Gaining Ground In Rural Areas To Give Recognition To Labour Of Farmers

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Manasi Saraf Joshi

Pune, 24 March 2021: A new trend is gaining foot in the rural areas of Maharashtra which is spreading like wildfire on social media, and that is celebrating any occasion by cutting a cake made of fresh fruits available locally.

It was journalist turned entrepreneur Deepak Chavan who found this trend pretty popular in villages and hamlets in rural Maharashtra.

While talking to Punekar News he stated, “ A few months ago I saw a message where a farmer’s family was celebrating his birthday by cutting some fruit. This viral message caught my fancy and when I intruded more I came to know about this trend which predominantly can be seen in rural areas”.

“It is a simple idea of cutting some fruit say like watermelon, musk melon or grapes on a birthday or anniversary”, he explains in detail. “Bakery products or cakes which we get in the interiors of the state are not up to the mark. Similarly, these products have low to no nutritional value”, he states.

A commodity market analyst Deepak says, “the trend has two benefits. First, it recognises the labour of the farmer and increases its consumption in the areas where it grows. Secondly, it is a nutritional option.”

Farmer cum entrepreneur from Amravati Mahindra Tekade says, “I am a farmer. I did study mechanical engineering, but moved to a farm since I belong to a farmer’s family. We are into vegetables and fruit farming. Oranges are our main product”.

“Five years ago I started ‘farmer to consumer’, a start-up and it received a tremendous response. Back then social media was not so powerful so we used to take orders on landlines and would provide home delivery services for the products”, Mahindra explains.

“I have an air-conditioned showroom, freezers, and deep freezers as a step further to this. Value addition to the farming business. Seasonal fruits are in great demand”, says Mahindra who is the proprietor of Bhaji Bazar, a fruit and vegetable supply chain in Amravati.

“From the past few days, I have noticed a trend wherein the farmers from interiors are celebrating anniversaries, birthdays for that matter even on the wedding day by cutting fruit cakes. These cakes are available in various sizes, shapes, and colours”, he states.

“When I probed further into it I got to know about Deepak Chavan and this movement of fruit cakes in rural Maharashtra. I too plunged into it”, he shared.

Fruit cakes advantages and disadvantages

Both Deepak and Mahindra believed fruit cake is a brilliant option for bakery cakes in terms of nutritional value and pocket friendly too. Similarly, it gives recognition to the farmer and his/her product. It inculcates the fresh, seasonal fruit-eating habit among the children and other age group people. It creates a local market for it too.

However, talking about the disadvantages of it, Mahindra says, “transport and shelf life of the food product are a challenging task. We can create various shapes of the fruit to turn it into a cake. We can make it attractive with help from salad decorators. However, the daunting task is transportation.”

“Likewise, we have to provide as per the order and need to consume it within a couple of hours”, he said.

To attract the children and motivate them to cut fruit cakes on their birthdays, we are trying to make these cakes in Barbie or Mickey Mouse shape”, Mahindra said.

Deepak said, “The fruits used are seasonal and locally grown like watermelon, musk melon. We can add other fruits for decorating it like grapes, oranges among others”.

“The movement will ensure the sustainability of the farmers”, the duo echoed.