'Technology helps improve banana production'

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Tiruchirapalli, Feb 7 (UNI) Adoption of improved technologies like use of disease-free high-yielding tissue culture plants and improved protection mechanisms have resulted in increased production of banana during the last decade, National Research Centre for Banana Director M M Mustaffa has said.

Speaking at a function here yesterday, he said India was the leading producer of banana and plantain in the world, producing 16.9 million tonnes. Despite the advent of technologies, productivity of banana was significantly hampered by insects, pests, nematodes and diseases. As viral diseases did not have any control measures, growing disease-free tissue culture plants was the only alternative, he added.

Dr Mustaffa said the Centre had developed molecular diagnostic kits, including PCR methods, to index the suckers and tissue culture planting material for production of disease-free plants. There was a need to disseminate information on the diagnostic methods to the tissue culture banana industry, researchers and growers to make the industry viable and sustainable, he emphasised.

Highlighting the role of bio-technology in the conservation of bio-resources, he stressed the need to know more about the status and utilisation of bio-diversity resources.

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