Exports have shot up by 89 per cent

Surge in banana exports by 89 per cent during April-January 2008-09 fiscal suggest that the appetite for Indian bananas in the European and the Middle Eastern countries has increased.

Upward trend

The country’s banana exports have shot up by 89 per cent to 25,013 tonnes during April-January period of 2008-09 fiscal, compared to 13,207 tonnes in the corresponding period previous year, according to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Good demand

“It is for the first time that Indian bananas are in great demand abroad because of improved quality of the fruit,” an official with APEDA said.

He further said that the increase in the shipment of bananas in 2008-09 clearly shows that there is a renewed demand for the fruit. Bananas are largely shipped to the European Union and the Middle Eastern countries.

Exporters have taken extra care at every phase of cultivation to harvest the export-quality fruit. Some of them have tried contract farming, used organic inputs and have followed proper pre-harvesting procedures, he noted.

Largest producer

India, the world’s largest producer of banana, grows the fruit in about 16.47 lakh hectares of land across the country. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar are the major producing states.