| A farmer at a banana field at Harnaut in Nalanda. Telegraph picture |
There is good news for banana lovers and farmers, as the tissue culture method to grow the fruit has almost doubled production in six years.
The method has also ensured that the tillers get a subsidy of 90 per cent from the horticulture department.
According to data available with the department, in 2005-2006, the production was 75,820 tonnes. In 2011-12 it stood at 1,58,480 tonnes. Farmers are growing the G9 variety of banana through tissue culture method.
The districts where farmers have started banana cultivation using the method are West Champaran, East Champaran, Samastipur, Khagaria, Katihar, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Vaishali, Nalanda, Saharsa, Begusarai and Patna.
Tissue culture means cloning and micro-propagation of tissues of the selected elite plants and daughter suckers. The process consists of initiation, multiplication, shooting & rooting, primary hardening in green houses and secondary hardening in shade houses.
In other districts, this method was started 3 years ago while in Patna district, the method was started around a year back by Phulwarisharif-based Rajeev Nandan. Sources said farmers receive a 90 per cent subsidy from the horticulture department if they use the tissue culture method.
“Whether a farmer uses traditional method of farming or the tissue culture method, he needs to spend a little less than Rs 1 lakh on banana cultivation in one hectare of land. However, if one uses tissue culture method, the yield is double,” said district horticulture officer, Patna, Nitesh Kumar .
“One G9 banana plant costs Rs 13.76. The cost of cultivation of G9 banana through tissue culture in one acre is around Rs 83,000. After a 90 per cent subsidy, I got around Rs 74,884. I did not have to invest much in the cultivation,” said Nandan.