As the Director of NRCB, it has been an eventful and satisfying journey for me to witness the phenomenal growth of the Centre over last 25 years ...
ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana celebrates 26th Foundation Day as Farmers Day on 21-8-2019
ICAR-NRC for Banana, Tiruchirappalli has successfully completed 26th year of its establishment and to commemorate the event, the Centre celebrated its foundation day as Farmers day on 21st August 2019. The theme of FARMERS DAY was “Recent Interventions for Doubling the banana farmers income” . Banana is a major fruit crop cultivated in 8 lakh ha with the production of 30 million tons contributing 28% of total fruit production in India. Though India is the largest producer of banana in the world, its share on international trade is skimpy. The pre and post harvest technologies developed at the Centre has tremendously improved the handling and marketing of banana fruits in India which is comparable with that of other leading banana exporting countries. Hence it is possible to garner up to double the income through banana export as there is growing demand of Indian bananas in the international markets. Recently, ICAR-NRCB along with APEDA and an Exporter have successfully exported Nendran bananas to Middle East and a successful export of bananas to Italy through seaport has encouraged the growers and exporters to reap the benefits.
During presidential address by Dr. S. Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB, narrated the genesis of the institute and its contribution to up-surge the production of banana in India (9.945 mt from 4lakh ha in 1993 and 30.81 mt from 8.0 lakh ha in 2018). Doubling the farmers’ income is addressed through the use of multiple advanced technologies such as use of quality tissue culture planting materials, drip irrigation, micronutrient management using banana sakthi- now it is in liquid formulation, use of recently released ICAR-NRCB superior cultivars such as Kaveri Kalki (a high yielding variety with capacity to tolerate cylclone / strom), Kaveri Sugantham (a fragrant variety) and Kaveri Saba (a drought tolerant variety). NRCB has strong role in developing the hi-tech technologies like certification of banana planting material where 275 out of 295 million planting material have been certified by NRCB in last 3-4 years, besides the centre has cheaper method for on –spot detection of the viruses using farmers friendly dip sticks and another milestone of the centre is development of next generation tissue culture technology with reduced cost per TC plants. Post harvest management is another area in which the centre has developed 28 technologies exclusively for waste utilization such as banana cups and plates from leaves, apart from stem juice (a health drink), particle boards, sanitary napkins apart from low glycemic edible products like chips from fruits etc. She also informed that the centre is shortly setting up an incubation centre to commercialize all the technologies.
Guest of honour, Shri T.V. Manjunatha, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Chennai has pointed out the ways and means to increase the banana farmers income. He emphasized the need for conserving the soil health and improving the water use efficiency and urged the farmers society to conserve water by planting more trees. He also stressed on the market study to get better price, creation of cold chains at taluk level, value addition, growing multiple varieties of banana to avoid slash etc., soil health test to ensure balanced application of nutrients, water budgeting and finally the need for living in tune with nature.
In the inaugural session, Shri S.SIVARASU, I.A.S, District Collector, Tiruchirapalli was the chief guest of the function. While addressing the gathering he praised the contributions made by NRCB for the benefit of banana farmers and he emphasized on value addition and export. He stressed the need of judicious use of chemical fertilizers to conserve the soil health and he also intimated that efforts are being taken to open five pack houses for banana in the Trichy District. He distributed awards such as Best Farmer Award (Shri. S. Manjunatha, Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, Shri. K. Ramachandran, Silukkaaripalayam, Pondicherry, Shri. Sathia Prasad, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, Shri. S. Rajesh, Tiruchirappalli District, Tamil Nadu, Shri. A. Madappa, Mysuru, Karnataka, Shri. R. Chinnadurai, Tiruvaanaikaaval, Trichy, Tamil Nadu), Best Entrepreneur Award (M/s. Hi-Fi Biotech India Private Lld, Salem and M/s. Living Exports, Theni District) and Technology Disseminator award (shri. P. Chinnasamy, Programme Executive, Farm & Home Division, All India Radio, Tiruchirappalli and M/s The Hindu, Tiruchirappalli). The District Collector launched the banana fibre based textiles and honoured the entrepreneur Mr. Sekar from Anakaputhur. The best exhibit of the School children related to agriculture were given with INSPIRED – MANAK Award.
Shri G Ajeethan, General Secreatory, TNBGF, Thottiyam has spoke about “Supply chain management in banana” and he stressed the importance of pack houses in each banana growing areas to avoid post harvest losses and to get more price for banana. He also informed that Tamil Nadu government has sanctioned 5-6 primary processing units (pack houses) for Trichy District. By which it is possible to extend the shelf life of banana for one week which will help to get additional price of Rs1-5/kg to the tune of Rs 15000/ acre. Officials such as Mr Santhana Krishnan, JDA, Mrs Vimala, Mrs Esther Sheela, JD Animal Husbandry and Er P. Paul, Asst. Executive Engineer, Dept of Agril Engineering, Trichy explained the schemes and subsidies in agriculture, horticulture, farm machineries, solar power etc.
About 900 participants including banana growers, entrepreneur, KVK scientists, state horticultural officers and exporters were attended the function. An exhibition was arranged by displaying agriculture inputs and by-products of banana, tissue culture banana, machineries to produce banana based products, fibre and sarees ,fungicides, nutrients and fertilisers etc.
Before the start of the function Dr. B. Padmanaban, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRCB formally welcomed the gathering while at the end, Dr. R. Thangavelu, Principal Scientist, ICAR NRCB proposed vote of thanks.