Proposal to set up banana cluster in Jalgaon for export: Abhishek Dev

Proposal to set up banana cluster in Jalgaon for export: Abhishek Dev

APEDA's meet with banana growers and exporters at Jain Hills

FPJ BureauUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 04:14 PM IST
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India is a leading producer of quality bananas. Globally, India's export share is less than one percent and it is ranked 18th among major banana exporter nations. Smaller countries are well ahead in banana exports than us. India's banana export last year was US$ 290.9 million. An important discussion on how the export of bananas will cross the US$1 billion mark was held in a meeting with APEDA Meeting of banana growers and exporters held at Jain Hills. For this to happen, the training of farmers for fruitcare management along with infrastructure facilities, pack house, cold storage, safe, fast and low cost transportation facilities from farm to pack house are subjects which were also discussed.

Jalgaon district is one of the major banana producers and the economy of this area is based on the banana producers of Badwani, Barhanpur, Nandurbar, Dhule, Surat, Narmadanagar etc. districts. This creates huge employment in rural areas; APEDA president Abhishek Dev assured that they will prepare a special report and undertake follow up with the Central Government to propose setting up of a banana cluster in Jalgaon district as one of the major banana clusters in the country. Mr Abhsihek Dev was speaking as the Chief Guest in the 'Banana Growers and Exporters Meet 2024-25' organized at Kasturba Auditorium by Agriculture Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL).

On this occasion, Jain Irrigation Vice Chairman and Managing Director Anil Jain, Joint Managing Director Ajit Jain, APEDA Manager Vinita Sudhanshu, and Prashant Waghmare; Banana Growers Association's Vasant Mahajan, Amol Jawle, Banana Exporters Ashish Agarwal, Kiran Dhoke, and banana expert Dr. K. B. Patil was present on the dais. They inaugurated the meeting by lighting the traditional lamp. Mr D.K. Mahajan, Vasantrao Mahajan, Sachin Patil, Lalit Patil, Sanjeev Deshmukh, Santosh Lachera, Premanand Mahajan, Digendra Singh Bharuch on behalf of Banana Growers Association felicitate APEDA Chairman Abhishek Dev with a trophy with banana tree, a shawl, khadi garland.

Speaking further, Abhishek Dev said, 'Is the quality of the bananas that we produce in the farm very good? What should be done for that? The food eater should understand where what he is eating is produced. It is known as the traceability factor. Global Gap and Jain Gap technology is looking to help banana growers with that. Fruit care management, cleaning, increasing production capacity, striving for exportable banana production as per international standards, and utilizing the assets to their full potential are also necessary activities. Jain Irrigation is an important asset for banana growers as well as fruit and vegetable exporters. An exportable product should be obtained through the use of precise technology. There is a big opportunity for exporting bananas to Iran, Iraq and Gulf countries including Russia, Europe and other countries. Branding is very important for that.'

Anil Jain, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Jain Irrigation also said, "Father Bhavarlalji Jain created Gandhi Tirtha. Gandhiji saw the future in rural India. These thoughts of Gandhiji have influenced my father deeply. Jain Irrigation is achieving his idea that 'If rural development happens, India will achieve real development'. Tissue culture technology was made available in 1994 by conducting research on bananas to make small farmers financially capable. Jain Irrigation has pioneered drip irrigation, fertigation, precision farming, and crop care. This led Jain Irrigation to produce exportable bananas. Increase in the production brought prosperity to farmers as his income increased. This change in thirty (30) years can truly be called the influence of Mahatma Gandhi's thoughts. Bananas are an important source of health, employment, and foreign exchange. To achieve this, the availability of quality plants (seedlings) and exportable varieties is an important part, along with the positive vision of everyone in the value chain for export growth.'

Separate banana mission program

Ms. Vinita Sudhanshu, while expressing her opinion, said, 'Farmers in Maharashtra are at the forefront of adopting this technology. Organizations like Jain Irrigation are working strongly with farmers through high technology to increase their income. APEDA's operations are expanding and export related operations are underway in over 700 products. In bananas, the export share of India has increased in the last ten years. He also expressed hope that the cooperation of farmers, exporters and Jain Irrigation is expected to further increase the share of exports. He explained the purpose of organizing this meeting to increase harmony between farmers, exporters, government and industrial organizations to increase exports.

Interactive communication with farmers and exporters

APEDA officials along with Abhishek Dev on the occasion conducted an open question and answer session with the farmers and exporters about what the central government should do in terms of policy to increase exports. In this, technical information related to exports should be easily available to farmers, farmers should be trained along with facilities like fruit care management, packing house, banana production area and communication will be convenient for farmers, construction of cold store, subsidy on the lines of Andhra Pradesh government for materials required for fruit care, spraying required for elimination of carp. Farmers gave suggestions at the primary level that subsidy scheme for medicines should be restarted, and a base price MSP should be announced for bananas. Exporters should relax policy on exports to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China, bring transparency in banking sector in financial transactions in Iran, Iraq and Gulf countries, research on new varieties other than Grand Naine to increase eight-day banana to 20 days, cooperate at government level for new markets, export to Russia, and the Europe. It was also suggested that cold stores, scanners should be provided locally, container loading and plugging arrangements should be made at railway stations. If technology is introduced in packing for quality, the quality of bananas will improve. Prashant Waghmare, Prince Tripathi of NHB, Eshwarya Gupta were present on behalf of APEDA. About 300 banana growers from Burhanpur, Barwani, Nandurbar, and Jalgaon were present. Farmers who participated in the discussion included mainly Ashish Agarwal, Rajendra Patil, Bhagwat Patil, Prashant Mahajan, Vishal Agarwal, Vishal Mahajan, Bhagwat Mahajan, Umesh Mahajan, B. O. Patil, Anil Patil, Exporter Amir Karimi, Prashant Dharpure, Yuvraj Shinde, Mahesh Dhoke, Shafi Sheikh, Ravindra Jadhav, Anil Pardeshi, and Pramod Nirmal. Dr. Azhar Pathan along with 20 exporters was also present.

Dr. K. B. Patil made introductory remarks and proposed the vote of thanks. Participating farmers were given certificates. It concluded with the National Anthem.

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