Tiruchirapalli, Oct 25 (UNI) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Deputy General Secretary H P Singh today called for adopting modern strategies to develop quality shoots for improving the banana production in the country.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the four-day 'National Conference on Banana' Dr Singh emphasised on systematic approach to reduce the cost of production with focus on soil health, water productivity and fertilizer efficiency.
As part of market promotional activities, market research studies should be launched and new markets identified, he added.
The current banana production is 90 million tonnes as against 6.5 million tonnes in 1993-94.
Stating that export of the fruit from the country was not congruent with the bulk of production, he said the produce should be of high quality to compete with the Latin American countries, the world leaders in banana export.
''The Centre has earmarked Rs 25,000 crore for development of agriculture and national food security mission,'' he added.
Inaugurating the conference, Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugham said the government has undertaken a Rs 10 crore scheme to encourage banana cultivation in Theni district.
Tamil Nadu Forest Minister S Selvaraj said researchers should work for the revival of 'Hill Banana' variety, which is on the verge of extinction.