Exports bring smiles to banana farmers

Exports bring smiles to banana farmers

Grand Naine, a banana variety is in great demand in the export market.

Anantapur: Grand Naine, a banana variety is in great demand in the export market. Farmers are growing Grand Naine variety in Beluguppa, Narpala, Putluru, Ellanur, Tadimarri, Yadiki and Pedapappur mandals in the district.

An estimated 8 lakh tonne bananas are being produced in 16,000 hectare in these mandals. Around 50 tonne is produced per hectare. Of the 8 lakh tonne, something like 12,000 tonne of bananas are being exported every year.

The bananas are exported to countries like Ecuador, Brazil, The Philippines, Honduras, Sri Lanka and also southern African nations. The exports are worth Rs 18 crore every year. Horticulture additional director Chandrasekhar told The Hans India that last fiscal 2018-19 12,000 tonnes of bananas worth Rs 18 crores had been exported.

The remaining produce caters to markets in Benguluru and to a great extent the Delhi market and even to other northern states apart from the local market in state. Pune-based Desai group also procures bananas from the local farmers.

The Big Bazar retail chain of Future Group and Mumbai-based Instinct and Intellectual (INI Group) have a tie-up with the local farmers who are marketing their produce at higher than local prices.

Prior to the entry of the multi-national companies, the local traders were having a monopoly over banana market and were dictating terms to farmers but the entry of the MNCs improved the lot of the farmers. More than 10,000 banana farmers are cultivating bananas in a minimum of 5 acre each and there are farmers raising bananas in 10 to 50 acre each.

Dr Azith, manager of INI group, told 'The Hans India' that the company soon after harvesting the crop takes them through a process of cleaning, grading, spraying and improving its quality and outlook before finally packing them. He said that his company alone is acquiring 10,000 tons from the farmers.

Besides other companies Big Bazar and Desai are also exporting the fruit to countries abroad. Delhi is also the biggest local market for bananas.A farmer Somasekhar Reddy in his interaction with 'The Hans India' said that banana crop proved to be a profitable proposition.

He had raised banana plantations in 7.5 acre of land and earned an income of Rs 5 lakh out of which the profit is Rs 4 lakh per 3.5 acre. The farmer got Rs 17,200 per tonne of banana. He had supplied the fruit to Instinct and Intellectual group and the groups was paying more than the prevailing market price.

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