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 was established on 21st August 1993 at Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu by ICAR, New Delhi with an aim to increase the production and productivity of banana and plantains through mission mode basic and strategic research approaches.
The Centre works on four major thrust areas of research viz., Crop Improvement, Crop Production, Post Harvest Management and Crop Protection. It has well-equipped laboratories for tissue-culture, bio-technology, soil science, nutrient management, physiology, biochemistry, entomology, nematology, fungal, bacterial, viral pathology and post harvest technology research.
In late nineties, 10 collection surveys through explorations were made. Wild banana germplasm from the North-Eastern states, Western Ghats and Andaman & Nicobar Islands and also exotic banana accessions from International Transit Centre (ITC), Belgium through NBPGR, New Delhi were introduced. The Centre has completed seven in-house research projects and eleven are in progress in the 11th five year plan. In addition to Centre’s in-house projects, 26 externally funded projects by AP Cess fund of ICAR, NATP, DBT, NHB and INIBAP were completed. The Perspective Plan and Vision 2030 documents on the research priorities and also inputs from the QRT and RAC were published. The Centre conducts two meetings of Institute Research Council to review the on-going research projects and also to incorporate the RAC recommendations. The vision of the centre is to increase the production and productivity of bananas and plantains to meet the growing need in India.
This centre is located at 11.500 latitude and 74.500 east longitude, 90m above MSL and receives 800mm rain annually. The climate is warm and humid and the average minimum and maximum temperature are 250 and 350C respectively. The Office-cum-Laboratory building is located on Thogamalai road at Thayanur. The farm has a total area of 38 ha at Podavur village which is 1.5 km from the office cum laboratory building and is located in the New Kattalai Command area of the river Cauvery. The Centre has infrastructure facilities like library, meeting and exhibition halls, green houses, quarantine lab and net houses.