Banana workshop and expo planned

By Special Correspondent
Mysuru grows a wide variety of bananas, including Nanjangud Rasabale, Pacha Bale (Cavendish variety), Yalakki, and G9. (Source: M.A. Sriram)

The Horticulture Department is planning to hold a banana workshop cum exhibition in Mysuru after the conclusion of the Dasara festival to promote Mysuru as a destination for the food processing industries to source their requirement of bananas.

Banana has been assigned for Mysuru in “One District One Product” list approved by the Centre to promote micro-food processing enterprises.

Mysuru grows a wide variety of bananas, including the Nanjangud Rasabale, a unique variety, which enjoys the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, Pacha Bale (Cavendish variety), Yalakki, and G9, besides the Nendran variety that commands a good market in neighbouring Kerala.

Banana has a huge potential in the food processing industries for manufacturing a variety of snacks and other food items. The idea behind the workshop cum exhibition was to promote the bananas grown in Mysuru region among the food processing industries.

“We wanted the food processing industries from across the country to come and see the variety of bananas grown in Mysuru for use as raw material in their industries,” said an official of the Horticulture Department here.

Bananas are grown in about 15,000 hectares of land in Mysuru district and the annual production of the crop exceeds 1.5 lakh tonnes. A large quantity of the produce is consumed locally. For, bananas not only have a relatively short shelf life, but also grown in abundance in other tropical countries.

Banana-based food

However, through the workshop-cum-exhibition, the officials were exploring the prospects of use of bananas by the food processing industries and export of the banana-based food products. According to officials from the Agriculture Department, technologies were available with CFTRI, a premier food technology laboratory in Mysuru, for extraction of juice and powder from bananas. A few entrepreneurs had even undergone training at CFTRI. The entrepreneurs coming forward to set up micro food processing industries were eligible for subsidy and other forms of assistance under the Centre’s “One District One Product” scheme.

Though the Horticulture Department officials were planning to hold a banana mela in Mysuru during Dasara to attract not only food processing industries and entrepreneurs from different parts of the country along with the general public, representatives of a few food processing industries preferred visiting Mysuru after the conclusion of Dasara festivities.

“Since the event was not just to exhibit bananas, but to attract food processing industries to purchase bananas from Mysuru, the workshop-cum-exhibition will be held after Dasara concludes,” said an official from Horticulture Department.


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