Agri Business

Banana farmers in Kerala form association

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 17, 2019 Published on July 17, 2019

Banana farmers in Kerala have formed a Banana Farmers Association. Representative image

Banana farmers in Kerala have formed a Banana Farmers Association as a follow-up to the National Banana Festival hosted here last year by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (Cissa), an NGO.

Cissa has been continuing with its efforts across panchayats and inspiring banana farmers to come together to form a common platform.

C Suresh Kumar, General Secretary, Cissa, said that banana cultivation is a household vocation in Kerala. A large number of farmers with many decades of experience in farming techniques had turned up for the festival last year.

“If banana farming has survived the ravages of time in the State, the credit should go mostly to the notably large number of smallholder farmers. But they have not yet had an organisation of their own to make themselves heard,” Kumar said.

Cissa’s endeavour has been to plug this gap between these farmers and the mainstream. Sreekumar, an agriculture scientist-turned-farmer, has been elected the first president of the association.

“Currently, farmers from the vicinity of the capital district are members. We are looking to reach out to the rest of the State, which incidentally offers the most diverse banana crop, and bring more farmers under the association’s fold,” Sreekumar said.

According to Suresh Kumar, Cissa is committed to support entrepreneurs who come forward to explore the huge scope of value addition across the fruit, fibre, pseudo stem, leaves and inflorescence.

Cissa has also set up its a Banana Resource Centre as a pilot endeavour at Kalliyoor panchayat in rural Thiruvananthapuram. It would seek to provide scientific training to farmers.

Published on July 17, 2019

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