24th Foundation Day of ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana celebrated as KISAN Mela on 21st August, 2017
The National Research Centre for Banana (ICAR) has celebrated its 24th Foundation day as "Banana farmers' day (Banana KisanMela)" with the theme on "Banana and Plantains for nutritional security" on 21st August 2017 at 10.00 AM at its conference hall, Thogamalai road, Thayanur post, Trichy- 620102. Dr.S.Uma, Director presided over the function and Dr.C.Anandaramakrishnan, Director, Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), GoI, Thanjavurwas the Chief Guest of the Function. International renowned scientists like Dr Rony Swennan, Dr. Robooniand DrStephen from, IITA, Nigeria; National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda and Bioversity International, FAO, Romehave also participated and interacted with the banana farmers.Dr S Uma, Director, while presiding over the function, she informed that the nutritionally rich banana and plantains is a wholesome fruit having all the necessary mineral nutrients, vitamins along with instant energy giving sugars needed by the human-being. The Banana and Plantains are not only fulfilling the food security but also helps in nutritional securityof the millions of the people in the tropical regions of the world. She also said that the per-capita consumption has drastically increased over the years compared to a situation prevailed two decades back. The briefed about the last year achievements of the centrewhich includes identification of a new banana variety namely NamwaKhom (Dwarf Karpuravalli) which can withstand wind damage and does not need bunch support. Technology to export of Nendran banana to UAE (Dubai and other middle east countries) through sea-port which could save the cost of transport 10 times and is expected to increase the prizes of Nendran in coming years. The NRCB in association and the support of APEDA, Fair exports, Cochin has successfully shipped 10 tons of Nendran banana in ship via Cochin seaport. Viruses is a major problem in tissue culture banana, to detect the virus NRCB has developed a two minutes test kit cheaper, reliable kit which can be used even by farmers or Tissue Culture banana companies in the farm itself. Another technology is quick production of tissue culture plants using bioreactor which is going to make the TC industry to have a leapfrogging growth on the supply of quality plants to the farmers. Unfortunately, a TR-4 Fusarium pathogen causing wilt disease on Cavendish banana has been detected in Bihar, but this timely detection will make us prepared to manage the disease not to spread to other states. During this event, a series of publications were released for the benefit of the banana farming community. For the benefit of the banana farmers, exhibition has been arranged.On this occasion the best banana farmer, best banana based entrepreneur, conservator of banana germplasm, best journalist disseminating the technologies and best KVK spreading the technologies were honored. The chief guest of the function told that the IIFPT is open for all the farmers to come and utilize the facilities to make banana based products and commercialize them. He also informed their technology to use small onion based products and value chain in Tamil Nadu. .
In the technical session, Dr Rony Swennen, from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria/ ITC, KUL, Leuven, Belgium has delivered a lecture on the Role of banana and plantains in meeting Food and Nutritional security of millions in Africa. Dr R. Thangavelu and DrK.N.Shiva also delivered lectures on wilt/leaf spot disease management and postharvest technology/value addition respectively. Around 500 banana growers and many agricultural and Horticultural officers, entrepreneurs are expected to participate in the field day. More than 18 stalls displaying various inputs for banana farming, banana export firms also participated. Firms making value added banana products and fibres making machines were also displayed their products and machinery in the exhibition.

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