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Tamil Nadu Farmers Are Going Crazy Over Banana Farming: Here’s Why

Many farmers have switched to banana cultivation after cultivating vegetables, according to A R Narayanasamy, President of the Banana Prodistrict, since bananas are a low-maintenance crop as opposed to other crops.

Shivani Meena
Tamil Nadu is the world's fourth-largest banana producer.
Tamil Nadu is the world's fourth-largest banana producer.

Banana is quickly becoming a popular crop among Tamil Nadu farmers. For the past two fiscal years, the state has reported production of around 40 lakh tonnes. India is the world's largest banana producer, accounting for more than a quarter of the global production. 

With a 6% rise in area under cultivation between 2019-20 and 2020-21, banana is swiftly becoming a sought-after crop for farmers in Tamil Nadu. For the past two financial years, the state has reported production of around 40 lakh tonnes. In 2019-20, India was the world's largest banana producer, generating more than 25% of the entire production and exporting Rs 660 crore. Tamil Nadu is the world's fourth-largest banana producer. 

The fruit is mostly exported from the Theni district of Tamil Nadu, which is noted for producing the finest quality bananas in the state, to South Korea, Europe, and South Africa. Even though the cultivation area in Tamil Nadu has expanded from 92,413 to 97,644 hectares, the yield per hectare has declined from 43.1 to 40 tonnes, causing concern among farmers and the horticultural department. Overall production has been stable at roughly 40 lakh tonnes, with the most common capacity being 8 tonnes. 

Many farmers have switched to banana cultivation after cultivating vegetables, according to A R Narayanasamy, President of the Banana Prodistrict, since bananas are a low-maintenance crop as opposed to other crops. The cost of cultivating is similar to that of other crops, but the workload is substantially lower. According to him, fertigation (the delivery of fertilizers via drip lines) has lowered labor costs. He also expressed concern about excessive production, which influences the pricing of the product on the market. 

He believes that having a consistent price throughout the year will be beneficial. Granaine or G-9, as well as red banana, are two of Thenis' most popular cultivars. G-9 production climbed by 14% last year, while red banana production increased by 61%. The demand for the common strain Nadu, on the other hand, has dropped by 25%. According to him, it is also exported and marketed locally. Plant growth, production, and post-harvest management have been the focus of the National Research Centre for Bananas (NRCB), which was founded in Trichy in 1993. Farmers, producers, FPOs, and other relevant stakeholders in banana production and associated activities are being identified by the institute, which is critical.  

There has been a 2% increase in the last five years. In India now, banana growers and allied sectors generate roughly Rs10 lakh crore. The Center has been supplying banana growers with high-quality, virus-free planting materials for over a decade. According to S Uma, the NRCB's chief, 600 million tissue culture banana seedlings have been distributed to farmers since 2007

India is one of the nations whose organic goods are being scrutinized more closely by the EU. Last month, the EU decided to ban five certifying bodies from clearing or ratifying organic product exports beginning January 1 this year because they failed to fulfill ethylene oxide (ETO) residue standards in consignments, primarily sesame. 

The governing agency in India, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, has barred five certification entities for failing to satisfy regulatory criteria. 

India Will Be Unaffected 

According to the analyst, LACON's departure from third nations would have no impact on organic shipments from India because other organizations can handle the certification requirements. 

The certifying company, on the other hand, has promised to bounce back after the "storm" has passed. 

According to the National Program for Organic Production, LACON has been approved by the National Accreditation Body of the Government of India (NPOP). It also provides USDA-NOP organic certification for items meant for export to the United States. The European Union has also classified the company as an analogous certifying authority for the purposes of equivalence. 

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