Punjab farmers take to banana cultivation

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Ludhiana, June 22 (ANI): Banana cultivation is gaining popularity among the farmers in Punjab, as it is considered a viable and alternate crop than the typical wheat and rice.

Over 300 acres of land are under banana cultivation already, and is expected to increase further.

Although farmers had been dissuaded from banana farming by the state government earlier due to such climatic extremes not being favorable to the crop, enterprising cultivators continued with the crop, and got good yields.

"I started banana farming in 2002. It was believed by the scientists that banana farming is not possible here because of climatic condition. After reading literature, I started this farming. First year I had 60 percent progress and next year I got income of Rs 2.25 lakhs from one acre land of banana cultivation," said Nishan Singh, a banana cultivator.

Profits from banana cultivation in a year from one acre of land can go up to Rs 250,000 to 300,000.

"If the farmers adopt this farming, they will get more income in comparison to wheat and paddy, and it is less expensive. It saves 30 to 35 percent water and incurs four times more income in this farming," said Mewa Singh, president of the Banana Growers Association.

Meanwhile, scientists at the Punjab Agricultural University are providing the most suitable plants to the farmers, as they believe that banana farming could be highly profitable.

According to the Punjab State Farmer Commission, it has sold 196,000 tissue culture plants in August and September last year.

Punjab alone consumes bananas worth nearly 120 million dollars every year, which is among the highest in country. (ANI)

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