Joshi Chakma, a resident of Khabang Pujje area in khagrachhari town, has changed her lot by making and selling banana chips amid the pandemic.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when most of the people spent time sitting idle at home in lockdown, she used Facebook to sell her homemade snacks and banana chips. She is now self-sufficient just by making and selling banana chips.
During a recent visit to her house, this correspondent found that unripe bananas were scattered around the house. She sliced the bananas with a kitchen knife in a bowl of water first. The slices were kept in the water, so that they did not darken. The slices were then kept for drying in the sun. Joshi later fried the banana chips in the oil at her kitchen. Only salt, oil and pepper were added as ingredients while frying the chips. The whole house looks like a small chip factory.
Joshi said she started the venture with Tk 1200 only. Now her monthly income is Tk 15 to Tk 20 thousand. She is now selling chips at Tk 800 to Tk 1000 per kg. The chips are made in completely organic way. Only salt, oil and pepper are added as ingredients.
She added that she learned how to make banana chips while sitting at home in lockdown. She has no academic knowledge in making chips. She wasted a lot of bananas at first while making chips. But she adhered to this. She is now self-sufficient by making banana chips. She created employment for a local woman as her helper. Her husband also supports her a lot to run this new business.
Joshi said she first supplied the chips to a few local stores for sale, but there was no response. Then she got a wide response after the pictures of the banana chips were posted on "SABANGEE", a Facebook page created for young indigenous entrepreneurs.
She is now selling her chips in different parts of the country besides the three hill districts through Facebook. Now she herself created a Facebook page named "SPICY" to spread her business.
Joshi's husband Mithun Chakma said he works in a private firm. Joshi is really helping the family with her additional income from selling the banana chips.
Suchitra Chakma, a client from Rangamati, said she bought the banana chips from the Facebook page-SPICY. The chips are very tasty.