Ten tonnes of nendran banana despatched to United Kingdom for ‘Vishu’ festival

ICAR-NRCB has developed technical expertise for fulfilment of shipment protocols

Under its joint venture agreement with the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council – Keralam (VFPCK), ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana on Monday despatched 10 tonnes of farm fresh nendran banana meant for Indian expatriates in the United Kingdom.

A team led by S. Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB, had developed technical expertise for establishing pack house facility for fulfilment of shipment protocols for the product.

The shipment is expected to reach London well in time for sale in the markets of the UK and Scotland during Vishu, the Malayalam New Year, to be celebrated on April 14, a press release said.

ICAR-NRCB imparted hands-on trai ning to banana farmers from Thrissur district on scientific cultivation of nendran, with particular focus on good agricultural practices to produce export quality nendran variety. Handpicked, hygienically harvested bunches were packed and stacked with minimum handling in the reefer containers at the APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) certified pack house at Vazhakulam, near Muvattupuzha. A QR coded tracking system was developed by TraceX, a Bangalor- based startup with technical assistance from NRCB and VFPCK to ensure traceability.

A.K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticultural Science), National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, hoped that the shipping costs by sea, which was just one-tenth of the expenditure incurred for air cargo, will make Nendran bananas cheaper for Indian expatriates from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Uma was hopeful that successful execution of the project will provide an impetus to quicker and cost-effective sea exports of traditional banana varieties to European markets and fetch higher prices for farmers.

She highlighted the emerging opportunities for Indian banana exporters due to decline in yields and exports from other banana producers such as Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador due to flood, drought, and fusarium wilt.

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