23rd Foundation day celebrated at ICAR-NRC Banana
The National Research Centre for Banana (ICAR) is celebrated its 23rd Foundation day as “Banana farmers’ day (Banana Kissan Mela)” with the theme on “Fusarium wilt and leaf spot management in banana” on 21st August 2016 at its office cum laboratory complex, Trichy- 620102.
Dr.S.Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB presided over the function, Dr Prakash Patil, Project Coordinator (All India Coordinated Research Programme) on Fruit crops delivered a special address and Prof. K.Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore was the Chief Guest of the Function. Dr S.Uma, Director in her presidential speech, mentioned the recent emergence of Fusarium wilt in Cavendish banana. She said that intensive efforts are being taken up by ICAR in the past a few months by conducting a a brainstorming meeting in the month April and all the stakeholders of banana, policy makers, quarantine departments, state horticulture departments, Scientists of All India Coordinated Research Programme on Fruits have participated and brought out road map of integrated strategies to tackle the disease on the war footing. She also said that due importance has been given on the research side to tackle the disease by developing integrated strategies and to avoid further spread by marking the zone of danger through survey and surveillances. Since this disease is a major production constraint in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Australia and recently in Jordan, Mozambique, Lebanon, Pakistan and Oman, efforts are in pipeline not to import any planting material from these countries with stringent quarantine. She said that the leaf-spot disease is another major hurdle in banana which leads to premature ripening of fruits in the field itself causing a serious loss. She informed the banana farmers about the recent leaf spot menace in dry area like Maharastra, has emerged in a bigger way warranting immediate steps to control the diseases by the intervention of our centre and the Govt of Maharastra. With these emergency issues, the Foundation day theme was chosen as “Fusarium wilt and leaf spot management “.
Dr Prakas Patil, Project coordinator, AICRP-Fruits mentioned that the technologies developed from the centre is being taken to the farmers after multi-location trials conducted at AICRP-Centres. Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, TNAU, the Chief Guest of the Day, has released four publications for the benefit of the farming community. The publications are on wilt and leaf spot disease management, nutrient management and the nutritional and medicinal properties of male bud of banana. He also gave away awards for seven persons who have contributed in various fields of research and development of banana.
The notable one was Mr Tenith Adithyaa, a young innovator, who received 19 awards all over the world and invented a technology to preserve banana leaves in original texture and even after conversion into leaf based products without any chemical preservatives. This novel eco-friendly technology can replace the use of plastics. This would help in keeping the environment safe and sustainable. Dr Ramasamy, stressed the need of changing crops in Cauvery delta regions when water level/ failure of monsoon takes place. He asked farmers to grow pulses to reap more benefit after banana. After the inauguration of the Foundation day, he declared opened an exhibition for farmers. In the exhibition various technologies for banana production, quality tissue culture plants, value added product development, inputs for banana cultivation and management of pest and diseases were displayed. In the technical session, Dr R. Selvarajan, Principal Scientist (Plant Pathology) delivered a lecture on wilt and leaf spot disease management. He also interacted with the farmers for solving the problems which they face in their field. In the technical session, Mr. Tenith Adithyaa, a young Innovator delivered a talk on ‘Banana leaf technology – a novel eco-friendly technology’. He said that this technology will save 30 million trees per annum used for paper making. Around 500 banana growers and many agricultural and Horticultural officers, entrepreneurs were benefitted on this field day.

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