NRCB supported National Banana Festival during 21-23 July, 2017 at AC&RI, Madurai, TNAU, Tamilnadu

NRCB displays a spectacular banana diversity

Banana is cultivated in 8 lakh ha with the production of 30 million tons sharing 28% of total fruit production in India. India is the largest contributor of Area and production in the world. With the change in climate more area can be conducive for banana growing in India and world. However, the share of Indian banana in world trade is miniscule. Therefore a three day National festival on Banana is mooted and being celebrated on 21-23rd July 2017 at Agricultural College & Research Institute, TNAU, Madurai, Tamil Nadu organized by Confederation of Indian Industry, Chennai chapter in collaboration with TNAU, ICAR-NRCB, NHB, NABARD and other industry partners. The focus of the programme is to enhance export of banana from India and leapfrogging to become a global leader in banana trade. The festival was inaugurated on 21st July 2017 with the presence of five state ministers including Agriculture, Forestry, Co-operative, Revenue and Education. Shakil P. Ahammed, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agri. and Farmers welfare, Govt of India, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Agriculture Production Commissioner and PS, Dept of Agriculture, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, K. Veera Raghava Rao, Collector, Prof. K. Ramasamy, VC, TNAU, Dr. S. Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB, Trichy; S. Nagoor Ali Jinnah, CGM, NABARD; P. Ravichandran, Chairman, Tamil Nadu state council, CII and other dignitaries and technocrats attended the function. The Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation actively participated in the programme. Technical sessions on topics like Good Agricultural practices, export initiatives, postharvest management, processing and value addition are also arranged. Speakers were also from Austria and Philippines. During the three days programme, an Exhibition consisting of the technology display of research organizations, business opportunity stalls from private firms, farmers producers company, small and medium scale entrepreneurs is also organized. ICAR-NRCB has displayed more than 100 varieties which includes commercial Indian and exotic varieties and rare, economically important varieties of the world and India in particular. The focus was also given on doubling the income of banana farmers by utilizing the banana wastes and on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Value Chain etc. More than 25 different products like banana fig, flower pickles, extruded snacks, flour based baby powder, cookies, banana fiber based handicrafts are displayed to encourage the entrepreneurs to have a banana based start ups to meet the Govt. objective of Make in India and developing indigenous hard and soft skills. More than 8000 farmers and entrepreneurs visited the exhibition and got benefitted from the Mela. The core committee after the meeting a road map for doubling the income of banana farmers along with government support was chalked out with clear cut responsibilities and time lines.

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