An assortment of innovative banana products including saris, shirts, handbags, cell phone pouches, soup mixes, wine, pickles and jams were on display at the unique exhibition organised by the National Research Centre for Bananas (NRCB) during its 20 foundation day celebrations held at Thayanur on Wednesday.

The foundation day was celebrated as ‘banana kisan mela’ on the theme ‘banana fruit care’ in order to create awareness among banana producers and consumers on different aspects of the fruit.Products made of banana fibre, and commercial and value-added products made from bananas were the highlight of the exhibition. Value-added products such as juice, jam and sweet chutney from pulp of ripe banana; flour, baby food, health drink, sauce, pickle and chips from pulp of unripe banana; pickle from flower of banana and candy from centre core stem of banana were on display. Commercial products exhibited were table mats, handbags, pouches, and coasters. Banana fibre products such as saris priced between Rs.1, 200 and 2,000 and shirts at Rs.700. The products have been developed by scientists of NRCB and commercially developed by training self help group members, said M.M.Mustaffa, director, NRCB.

“The adoption of these technologies has resulted in rural employment generation and entrepreneurial development of self help groups under cluster approach. Various products can be prepared using banana ,” he said. In addition, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides and a cold storage banana ripening room were also on display to educate visitors about various technologies available for banana fruit care, production, cultivation, and management of pests and diseases.