Short supply of toddy or kallu in Kerala in summer dampens the spirit of tipplers and Kallu shop owners

Is there any link between the tipplers and hot summer season in the state of Kerala? Yes, there is link between them and drinks, Their most favorite item is Kallu available in ''Kollu Shapps''. The higher the mercury goes up in hot season, the greater the urge for the regular tipplers to take refuge in the Kallu shop to down the local brew along with the spicy food stuff available there to subdue their despair.

Kerala, Kally shop.

Kerala state, Kally and spicy food.

The advent of summer dampens the  spirit of Kerala's ‘ever active kallu shops . and their owners. They are writ with worries and anxiety because many shops fall on hard time for a different reason. The toddy supply to the shops drop to a minimum.  Owners  are unable to serve their regular customers to quench their thirst. Reason: Palm flower sap  yield is low in dry season  consequently owners are unable to fill the glasses of the  customers to enjoy their down to earth natural unadulterated  brew. The shortage of toddy has made the tipplers more worrisome than the shop keepers who don't want to send back their customers disappointed. In the summer of 2020, the situation was chaotic as the drink lovers had to visit shops one by one in the neighborhood until they downed the brew to wet their palate.

In south Kerala,  having no choice many shops downed their shutters for some hours as the natural toddy supply was way down to meet the demand. The low supply was primarily due to slow tapping process, aggravated by dry spell.   But the very thought  of mouth watering spicy food and low sedative toddy kept the spirit of regular customers  way high.  

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According to T N Rameshan, secretary, Kerala Chethu Thozhilali Federation,  the toddy shops which were more than 5200 came down to 3600 now. The primary reason is the huge gap between supply and demand of toddy. The consumption  was  100000 liters more than the quantity of natural toddy being tapped by the traditional tappers. 

The shortage  provided a golden chance for the illicit distillers and moonshines who want to make hefty bucks at the cost of people's health. The shortage is met by selling  synthetic toddy. Now the average production of toddy in Kerala is 300000 liters and Palakkad’s Chittur taluk accounts for roughly 80%. Every summer demand for natural toddy goes up, but it is a lean season climatically as the production of palm flower sap also declines. The sale of 100 liters of toddy in each shop means  the  total  consumption in all 3600 shops will cross the production limit., creating a grim situation for the consumers.  

Toddy and Abkari Workers Congress  has come up with the suggestion  to introduce short term high-yielding varieties of coconut to fill up the ever increasing gap between consumption and production, this will check the spread of supply  of spurious variety to the shop owners. The grim situation is further is further taken to a new height by setting the limit of 400 meters distance  away from places of worship, schools, etc.  Yet another dampener is the sale of food items may attract taxes under GST.  The last one may discourage rural customers who do not want to pay tax on the food eaten on the premises of Kallu  ''Shappe'' of Kerala,