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Kerala Couple Earns Good Income by Cultivating and Exporting CUSCUS to Different Parts of the Country

Professor Rajendra Kumar
Professor Rajendra Kumar

Shalji Karuthetham and his wife Sindhu have been cultivating and marketing Cuscus at Palappetty in Ponnani, Kerala for the last 18 years.  Both of them are cultivating it in about 10 acres of land.  Cuscus is marketed inside and outside Kerala.  It is exported from Kerala to most of the states of India.  

Apart from marketing Cuscus, they also market other Ayurvedic medicines.  Cuscus is exported to Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Amritsar and Uttar Pradesh.  This herb is mainly grown in the coastal areas from Ponnani to Chavakkad in Kerala by ayurvedic medicine companies, cosmetics companies, handicraft manufacturers and perfume makers.  Cuscus grown here is of good quality as it has a good aroma and good medicinal value.

Cuscus is cultivated organically.  Peanut cake, cow dung, chicken manure, and other organic manures are used as fertilizers. Therefore, it does not cause any other chemical contamination problems even if tested in any of the labs.

About 400 acres are cultivated in this area.  The ancestors who cultivated and marketed it were farmers. It was cultivated and marketed in the traditional way.  The Sindhu-Shelji couple started the mechanized harvesting of their produce and other crops as a result of their continuous efforts.  For the past two years, Shelji and his wife Sindhu have been marketing a range of Cuscus products and other herbal products, mainly under a brand called Kalyan Herbals and Food Products.

Cuscus has been facing market crisis for the last four years.  They have been taken over by many markets, especially in Tamil Nadu with the widespread cultivation.

In order to overcome such a crisis, the couple moved towards a determination to make value-added products of Cuscus.

With the lockdown, the crisis was exacerbated and marketing came to a complete standstill.  It was during this time that most of the products began to be launched.

Sarbat, a drink made of Cuscus,is an important product of theirs.  No one in Kerala has launched such a  Sarbat in the market.  It is made by boiling Cuscus organically and extracting it.  Cuscus sarbat is very delicious and healthy and excellent in quality.The taste of Cuscus is bitter and sweet.  No colours, synthetic flavours or essences are added to it.  It can be used by children and adults.  It is currently in good demand inside and outside Kerala

Bath Scrubber.

This is a product made for bathing.  Bathing with Cuscus scrubber is very beneficial for skin-related ailments.

Cuscus powder.

Cuscus powder is made by washing, drying and grinding pure Cuscus.  This powder prepared by Shelji can be used in various ways. It is very good for bathing, using as a facial as well as applying for skin ailments.  It is very good for removing sweat odour as it is a very fragrant powder.

Medicinal oil 

Cuscus is the main ingredient in the medicinal oil.  Apart from it, other medicines have also been added to it.  This product is proving to be very effective for hair growth, keeping hair black, preventing dandruff and hair loss.  This oil is effective for pain and swelling in the body.

Air Purifier

 'Aparajitha Dhooma Churnam' is made by adding Cuscus as the main ingredient.  This product is very effective against mosquitoes, other insects and bacterial fungi.  This incense can create a positive energy to spread the fragrance to purify the atmosphere when it is smoked.  This powder has become an important product of ours.

Herbal Bath Powder

It is an important product of our company.  It is a product that can be used by both children and adults as a substitute for soap.

There is another product which is a dish that is washed, cleaned, dried and prepared for using as an antidote. It is something that everyone can use as a health drink.  Drinking boiled water with Cuscus has many health benefits.  Cuscus is an effective anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-diabetic and anti-BP herb. It  is excellent for getting rid of sweat odour and fatigue.

In addition to Cuscus products, about 35 natural products are marketed under the brand name Kalyan Herbals and Products.  All the products are getting good response.  Along with Cuscus products, other natural products are now being marketed inside and outside Kerala. Green Turmeric Powder, Musk Turmeric Powder, Powder, Orange Peel Powder, Rose Powder, Multani Mitti Powder, etc. are some of them.

Cuscus cultivation is generally a profitable crop. It is suitable for cultivation in open space.  It grows best in loose sandy areas.  Harvesting is  from December to March.  It is at this time that cultivation begins.  Cuscus requires plenty of water and fertilizer.  It can be harvested in one year.

Efforts are still being made to launch a number of variety products using the herbal plant. The couple have developed a nursery to supply the seedling of Cuscus for the cultivators.

It is the duty of all to maintain and promote the cultivation.  It is very important that the Central and State Governments declare Cuscus as a medicinal plant and protect its cultivation and farmers of the region.  It is an integral part of our Ayurvedic field.  Therefore, the ayurvedic companies and others here should give all possible incentives and be prepared to give good prices to the farmers.

K.Shalji & Sindhu Shalji

K.Shalji & Sindhu Shalji

Palapetti , Kerala

Kalyan Herbals& Food Products

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