Farmers take to banana cultivation in Punjab

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Majitha (Amritsar), July 29 (ANI): Banana cultivation is becoming popular among the Punjabi farmers here as a viable and alternate crop than the traditional wheat and rice.

Banana cultivation at present covers over 500 to 700 acres in the State and is expected to expand further.

Earlier, farmers in the border areas, were hesitant to take to this crop as an alternative from their traditional crop due to harshly frosty conditions during winters. But the innovative farmers like Karmjeet Singh of Wadala Virum village overcome these teething troubles by using 'Culture variety' that can withstand the fog and winter.

"I started banana farming last year when I saw my cousin in Sangrur earning a handsome income from banana crop. I am also expecting a good yield," said Karmjeet Singh.

Karmjeet said that along with banana cultivation, he also harvested various vegetables in the same land and earned about Rs. 100,000.

The Grand Naine variety of banana is considered as the best suited for cultivation in the border belt of Amritsar.

Profits from banana cultivation in a year from one acre of land can go up to Rs 200,000 to 250,000 in third year.

According to Dr. Baaz Singh, Deputy Director Amritsar Punjab Horticulture Department, Punjab consumes bananas worth nearly 400 crore rupees annually.

He says Punjab farmers should avail this opportunity to cater to their own domestic market. Presently, the banana is coming from Maharashtra. Locally produced banana would be comparatively better in quality.

The banana coming from Maharashtra costs more due to transportation. BY Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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