Farmers' grievances meet conducted on NRCB campus
Plantain cultivators in the district should tap the potential of the district in registering higher yield and productivity in consultation with the scientists attached to the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) near here, said Collector Jayashree Muralidharan.
At the monthly farmers' grievances day meeting held on the NRCB campus about 12 km from here on Wednesday, the Collector pointed out that the plantain growers in the district were yet to fully utilise the services and research programmes being taken up by the NRCB for their economic growth. In fact, the district administration shifted the venue for the monthly grievances day meet from the Collectorate to the NRCB campus at Pothavur village, with a view to providing an opportunity for exchange of views on cultivation practices and expertise by both segments. “While the scientists will transfer the fruits of their research to the farmers, the agriculturists, on their part, would explain their experience-based strategy,” she said.
The Collector underlined the need for producing value-added products in banana for increasing their profitability. “Value addition has not been much appreciable with regard to banana in the district,” she said, appealing to women farmers to form groups of women self-help groups to undergo training at the NRCB for making value-added products in banana and banana fibre which included banana pickles, banana powder, fibre sari, cloth, table mat and banana wine. “The district administration will not only incur the expenditure for imparting the training but also arrange for loans with banks,” the Collector assured.
M.M.Mustaffa, Director of NRCB, described the research activities being taken up by scientists. Diseases such as ‘leaf spot' and ‘nematode' posed a challenge in a number of varieties. The NRCB had evolved a strategy to control the same. He appealed to farmers to go in for tissue culture banana and drip irrigation technique. “In the Cauvery delta region, not many farmers resort to drip irrigation, despite its advantages,” he said. Earlier, accompanied by scientists and farmers, the Collector went around the research farm of the NRCB. S.Uma and P.Sundararaju, both principal scientists, R.Thangavelu and V.Kumar, both senior scientists explained the ongoing research projects, application of bio-agents as pest control measures, manufacture of vermicompost using banana waste and conservation of important species.