Ludhiana, 3 January, 2013 : Members of the Banana Grower Association along with Dr. Bhawant Singh Chahal consultant with the Punjab State Farmer’s Commission met the additional director of Research Horticulture Dr HS Dhaliwal of the Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana. The members of the Banana Grower Association present in the delegation Mewa Singh Kular President, Sushil Malhotra Vice President, Durlabh Singh Boparai Secretary and Varinder Singh, Iqbal Singh.
At this occasion the Banana Grower Association members discussed in detail the cultivation of banana in Punjab and the association put forward its demands to the Punjab government through PAU that Punjab government should follow the pattern for cultivation of banana in Punjab like other states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra and provide monitory assistance available to the farmers in those states. In other states apart form the subsidy given to the farmers by the National Horticulture Mission, the state government also gives financial assistance to the banana growers. At this occasion Dr. HS Dhaliwal Additional Director Horticulture disclosed that the Punjab government had given grant since 2005-08 for the technical research on banana crop with the recommendation of the Punjab State Farmer Commission.
With the result PAU started research on banana and gave its recommendation to the Punjab government that banana can be grown in Punjab successfully and banana crop can give more return to the farmers as compare with wheat and paddy and it can prove a better alternative for the diversification from wheat and paddy cycle to banana. Its water requirement is 35% less as compared to wheat and paddy. Mr. Dhaliwal further told that Punjab Agriculture University gives detailed information regarding the banana cultivation during various Kisan Melas held from time to time in Punjab. The PAU has recommended Grand-Naine commonly known as G-Naine variety and this variety is being cultivated throughout Asia. Apart from G-Naine another variety ‘Robusta’ is under research.
Mr. Dhaliwal said that those who want to adopt banana cultivation they can seek guidance from the Horticulture Department of PAU. The results of those farmers who have followed the ditto recommendations made by PAU have been proved very encouraging and satisfactory. But those who did not follow the recommendations of the PAU have suffered great losses. Mr. Dhaliwal further said the small formers can get more benefits from banana crops. They can ripen their banana and market their crop in the nearby market and gain more profit for this purpose, the PAU has developed banana ripening chamber in which no power is required an the banana can be ripened with Ethylene Gas with controlled temperature of 18-20°. Cost wise it is very much affordable by the farmers.
He appreciated the efforts of the Banana Grower Association in promoting the banana cultivation in Punjab by various educational camps. He told the delegation that the Vice Chancellor of the PAU Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon has asked to start the research work on banana crop with utmost efforts. The PAU is planning to hold a seminar on banana cultivation where successful as well as unsuccessful farmers would be invited to share their experience and experts from the PAU would remain in direct contact with the farmers involved in banana cultivation.
The farmers will gain immensely with these practices. According to Banana Grower Association, the consumption of banana is around Rs. 600 corers annually in Punjab which is being met by the banana growing states just like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar and Karnataka. At present Punjab is producing only 1% of the total consumption. This crop has a bigger scope in replacing the wheat and paddy crops for diversification.