They are susceptible to pest attacks and diseases, affecting the yield

Many native varieties of banana that are traditionally grown in the State are losing their vigour owing to their susceptibility to disease and pest attacks, the Tamil Nadu Banana Growers’ Federation has said in a resolution adopted at its general body meeting held here on Friday.

Many native banana varieties such as the “poovan”, “karpooravalli”, “rasthali”, “metti”, “neipoovan”, and red banana are prone to disease and pest attacks affecting the yield of the crop.

Elite clone of these varieties need to be identified and multiplied using tissue culture technology and distributed to farmers.

As the cost of production of these seedlings was high and private seed companies were reluctant to take up the task, the State government should draw up a plan to revive these native varieties in the interest of farmers, the association said in a resolution.

The need for extending insurance cover to individual banana growers was another issue that dominated the proceedings of the meeting attending by representatives of banana growers associations from 12 districts. Banana growers were prone to suffer heavy losses owing to natural vagaries. This often pushed many banana growers into perennial debt. Even if farmers had insured their crop, it was not of much help as compensation was given only if widespread damage had occurred in an entire firka.

The following were elected as new office-bearers of the federation: President — A.P. Karuppaiah; Vice-President – S. Kottaisamy; General Secretary — G. Ajeethan; Joint Secretaries — P.M.S.G. Jagadeesan, S. Gunasekaran, T.R. Amaiyarajm, and R.M. Dharmarajan and Treasurer – V.M. Subramanian.