Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Banana Cultivation: Problem and Prospects in Tripura.

Introduction

     Banana is probably the most established fruit crop of Tripura like Jackfruit, pineapple and coconut etc. Banana is one such fruit crop that could make its existence in every homestead land of rural and semi urban areas. It is in fact one such fruit which is perennially available in the market in all places of the state.
     This is the fruit most loved and adored by the people of the state due its various usages in different purposes in every household starting from table fruit to worshiping purposes and vegetable/culinary preparation.

Traditional Varieties of Banana

    In Tripura, there are several varieties of Banana, of which three varieties of Banana as indicated below are prominent:-
1. Champa
2. Sabri
3. Kachkola
     The first two varieties of Banana are cultivated for fruit purposes and the remaining one for vegetable purposes. Of the two varieties meant for fruit purposes, Chamapa is most popular in terms of its availability followed by the Sabri.
    The Sabri Banana is considered as most tasty and fetches higher prices compared to the Champa Banana. However, production of Sabri Banana is not considerable compared to Champa Banana.
   Similarly, Kachkola is also not so available round the years and it also fetches better prices due to production constraints and supply curve.

Cultivation Practices

     Banana cultivation in Tripura is still traditional and age old practice; generally, Banana cultivation in Tripura starts from the month of March and ends in the month of June/July in the year. In Tripura, Suckers are planted in well prepared pit in the designated land. Usually, upland/hilly and sloppy land are the places where Banana is cultivated.
   The trend is; Practice of Banana cultivation in the lands of other cultivable crops is rare; Banana is mostly cultivated in the Homestead or other vacant lands. Of course, now-a-days, a small scale plantation in plain land could also be observed in Tripura but it is yet to pick up.
    As far as selection of seedling is concerned, suckers are preferred for plantation purposes; usually sword suckers which are advisable are used in new plantation. However, many times due to the shortage of sword suckers, water suckers are also selected for new plantation.

Present Trends

   At present, Banana cultivation and production scenario could not considered as most preferred and profitable farming activities. Although, there is concerted efforts for promotion of fruit crops cultivation in the state but the picture is not encouraging.
    Banana cultivation in many places actually declined due to switch over in other non-fruit crops in the state.
    Due to decline in plantation and its subsequent affect of production, Champa Banana which used to be available in cheap rate until ten years ago has increased in manifold in terms of price.
      More over, the quality of Banana fruit that are available in the market are also not up to the mark and it is due to lack of good cultivation practices which ultimately resulted in less yield and poor quality of Banana fruits.
     In Tripura, there is also peculiar tendency for not applying any nutrient supplements to the plantation, whatever has been produced was depending on the fertility level of the soil. If the soil is fertile and virgin then good harvest otherwise yield is stagnated over the period of time.
   Banana farmers do not follow the package of practices of Banana cultivation; everything is depending on the inherent soil fertility and climatic condition for the Banana plantation.
     Another tendency of Banana farmers of the state is; re-plantation of old and existing Banana plantation. The practice is once planted and established; Banana plantation is not rejuvenated with new seedling and soil nutrients supplements.
      These tendencies have led to the decline in over all production of Banana. Many insect pests and disease causing pathogens have found niche host for their survival and growth which ultimately threatened the old and existing Banana plantation of the state.
Tissue culture, another widely successful aspect in other states is also in dormant stage.      
     Although, tissue culture lab is reported to exist in the state but any activity and improvement in terms of production of Banana plantlets though tissue culture for large scale plantation in the state is not yet to be observed.

Problems and Solution for Banana Cultivation

      The main problems of banana cultivation in the state are as follows:-

     • Mindset of farmers for homestead Banana plantation should change and large scale plantation in the suitable land should be explored in profitable scale.
    • Rejuvenation of old and existing Banana plantation should be ensured with new seedling after every two to three years.
      • Sabri Banana of the state should be explored for harnessing its market potentialities.
    • Local variety of Banana may be replaced with good and high yielding variety of Banana if required for realizing the economic reliance.
      • Tissue culture lab of the state should be revived and refurbished with an objective to produce Banana plantlets for popularizing the Banana cultivation through tissue culture seedlings.
       • Soil nutrient management should be ensured and good package of practices that is available with the department of agriculture should be followed for achieving the desired yields and profit from the Banana plantation.
   Agritangkol dated 17.12.2011 at 4.35 P.M

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is true that in our state the production of bananas are in danger or no future but if we take the matter seriously then i thought it will be take a good shape for the future. The soil of our state is very fertile so many kinds of plants are grown here in good conditions. I also agree with this statements. Thank you

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