Commercial cultivation of banana in J&K through biotechnology
| 28 Nov 2017
| NOP Bureau National

Jammu, 27.11.2017: The Jammu & Kashmir state is endowed with all kinds of fruits and is a net exporter to the rest of the country and abroad. However, the major fruit i.e. banana (Kela) is imported here to the tune of Rs. 200 crore per year. In order to bring commercial cultivation of banana in J&K, the CSIR- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, a premiere R&D organization, conceived a new biotechnology driven programme. This work was jointly done by CSIR-IIIM, Jammu and Cadila Pharmaceutical, Ahmedabad. After full trial and established tissue culture and agriculture practice, Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Director IIIM, Jammu has launched the J&K grown banana fruit here today. While giving the detail of experimental works involved in growing the banana by tissue culture technique at IIIM, Jammu, Dr. Vishwakarma, Director IIIM, Jammu flanked by Desh Ratna, President Agro Divisionl and Narendra Brahmbhatt, GM Finance & Costing, Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited, Ahmedabad, in a press conference held here, revealed that the samplings of this high quality tissue culture variety known as Bhim Grand Naine (G-9) banana were brought from Agro Division of Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and the first trial of cultivation over 2 acres land of Field experimental farm Chatha has been successfully completed. It was further informed that this first cultivation trial was done by planting 2000 samplings of banana plants with the narrow spacing 2 X 2 m in the month of August 2016 and fruit setting commenced in the month of July-August, 2017 whileas the maturity and harvesting attained in 13 months. The plant grew to a height of 6.5 to 7.5 feet and gave yield 20-30 kg per plant and 20-25 tonnes/acre. In term of economy involved, as per market analysis, price of banana in Jammu is approximately Rs. 20 per kg. Thus on an average, 20-30 Kg yield/plant gives Rs. 250-300/Banana plant. On the basis of market demand, approximately Rs. 2.5 lakh net return can be obtained by cultivation of this crop on one acre of land which is attractive business for farmers of the Jammu & Kashmir State as it involves very less inputs but lucrative profit.

Pertinently, in India, the most edible banana species are widely cultivated in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarart, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar whileas many wild species of banana are reported from Northeast and South India. In total, more than 164,000 acres of land in India is under banana cultivation which makes the country first rank in banana production. Till date, no initiative of commercial cultivation of banana has been done in J&K State, thus in view of annual business out of banana consumption, the commercial cultivation of banana in Jammu & Kashmir State would be most profitable agriculture business for farmers of the State. This crop will be particularly suit to Jammu region. The next target of IIIM to introduce the banana cultivation in Kashmir region through modern biotechnology approach (Polyhouses) which would be done in 2018.

It was also told that the methods for transformation and regeneration have been developed and at present are widely used. Such biotechnological approaches can be implemented here too so that potentially useful genes can be introduced to the existing varieties to improve the characteristics like disease resistance, postharvest quality including the shelf life.

Dr. Ram Vishwakarma also informed that for commercial cultivation of banana, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu can facilitate and co-ordinate prospective institution, organization or farmers for procuring banana saplings on subsidized rates from M/S Cadila Pharmaceutical, Ahmedabad, demonstration & technical support for commercial cultivation of banana in J&K State.

Prominent among other present on the occasion were Prof. S.S.Handa (Ex-Director, CSIR-IIIM), Abdul Rahim, Head PME, Pankaj Bahadur, Controller of Administration and Sushil Sharma of Cadila Pharmaceutical, Ahmedabad.




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