Assam: Home to Asia’s largest Banana Market

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Do you know that Banana is technically a berry. Another important fact is bananas do not grow from seeds but bulbs. 

Banana is an edible fruit - actually a berry known for its nutritious value. A single banana contains around 100 calories of energy in it. Besides being delicious, bananas are also a great source of fiber, antioxidants and several vitamins and minerals. 

Eating bananas helps you in reducing your weight and also improves your digestion. Clinically, it is proven that bananas keep the heart young by keeping your blood pressure normal and other cardiovascular problems away. 

India is the largest producer of bananas and the world consumes more than 100 billion bananas annually. 

Many types of processed foods can be derived from Bananas such as chips, juice, jam etc. 

Sweet Bananas of Assam: 

Banana can be found in abundance in Assam mainly due to its fertile soil and favourable climatic conditions. Almost every household has one or two banana trees in their backyard. The farmers of Assam also cultivate bananas commercially due to its high profitability. Around 15 to 20 varieties of bananas are available in Assam. 

Banana varieties in Assam: 

Assam mostly produces bananas under AAA, AAB and ABB genomes. Although there are around 15 to 20 varieties of banana available in Assam, the famous ones are: 

- Jahaji: The banana trees are generally short and it takes around 350 days of time for the bananas to ripe. It falls under the AAA category. 

- Bar Jahaji: The trees are tall in stature and it takes almost a year or in some cases more than a year for the bananas to ripe. It falls under the AAA category. 

- Chenichamma: The trees are neither short nor tall. The bananas become fully ripe in a year’s time. These fall under AAB category. 

- Malbhog: The trees are medium tall and it takes around 370 days for the bananas to become ripe. Loam soil is good for cultivation of malbhog. It falls in the AAB category. 

- Kanaibansi: The trees are of medium stature and the bananas take around 400  days to ripe. The bananas are generally long and it falls under AA category. 

- Saapkal: This variety grows in the hills of Assam and the trees are generally medium tall. Bananas mature in about 400 days. It falls under AAB category. 

- Garo Moina: This variety also grows in the hills however for this variety, the trees are very short and it falls under AAA category. 


Banana uses in Assam: 

- Bananas are used as a main ingredient in several dishes that are prepared in Assam. Kaskal”variety is used as a vegetable. 

- Khaar is prepared from bananas and used for treating digestive disorders and gastric problems. 

- The leaves of banana trees are used in a traditional way to serve food in functions such as marriages. 

- Bananas are also used for preparing beer. 

- Several banana trees are tied together to prepare a raft-like structure and are used to float in water. In regional language it is called “bhel”. 

Darrangiri: The largest banana market of Asia: 

The famous banana market of Darrangiri is situated in the Goalpara district of Assam. The location is very near to the National highway. Roughly more than 14000 people are associated with the market. The fruit is exported to other nearby countries such as Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. During September and October, when the market is running in its full pace, nearly 40 to 50 lorries of bananas are sold in a single day. The monthly earnings of the market is well over 4 Crore. In an attempt to better the market possibilities and drive the market to its full potential, the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal has declared to set up Assam Agricultural University in Goalpara. 

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