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When plantain leaves started bringing in unexpected money for this Kerala farmer

Anil Kumar B at his farm in Kottayam. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

It’s not bananas but plantain leaves that changed the fortunes of a farmer in Kottayam, Kerala. When the 54-year-old Anil Kumar B of Panachikkad in Kottayam started plantain farming a few years back, he had never thought that plantain leaves would bring fortunes to him and he could script a remarkable story of entrepreneurial success by selling plantain leaves.

Now, Anil Kumar is the major supplier of plantain leaves to all catering centers that serve food for weddings on plantain leaves. Apart from caterers, he also supplies plantain leaves to premium hotels and restaurants that serve traditional Kerala sadhya on plantain leaves. “We sell around 25,000 plantain leaves every week. There is a huge demand for good plantain leaves,” Anil Kumar told “Open Digest.”

Recognising the potential value of these leaves, Anil Kumar started to take extra care of plantain leaves, ensuring their freshness and quality. Soon, he established a reputation for providing the best plantain leaves in Kottayam.

As demand continued to grow, he invested in sustainable farming practices to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality plantain leaves year-round. His three-acre farm at Panachikkad is now a thriving enterprise, and his story is an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs in Kerala who could use plantain leaves as an additional income earner.

Anil Kumar, who has even exported plantain leaves to Middle Eastern countries, says that the cost of a plantain leaf would come to Rs 10 during the Onam season.

He humbly attributes his success to hard work and the simple yet invaluable plantain leaves that have transformed his life and the lives of those around him. His story serves as a reminder that innovation and resourcefulness can turn even the most humble of resources into a thriving business, showcasing the boundless opportunities that agriculture can offer in our ever-evolving world.

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