Tiruchirapalli, Sep 20 (UNI) The Union government has proposed to elevate the existing National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) here as Project Directorate on Banana, according to NRCB Director Dr M M Mustaffa.
Talking to newspersons here yesterday, Dr Mustaffa said a proposal in this regard had been sent to the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) and the elevation of NCRB would be implemented during the 11th five year plan.
Once the proposed elevation came into effect, there would be a better coordination, increasing funding pattern and a boost in the plantation production, he added.
Dr Mustaffa said the proposed Directorate would be the controlling authority of banana research Centres at Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. One more Centre would start functioning in Orissa, he added. He said research was going on for introducing three banana varieties at NRCB to suit for raising banana plantations in multi- locations in the country.
The new varieties would be high yielding and low cost, he said and trail production on these varieties would be released in the next year.
Asked about the value added projects, he said the Centre was undertaking and producing several other value added products from banana, including banana stem juice and banana stem candy and these would be commercialised during the next year.