Research centre developing iron-rich banana variety

August 30, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 06:10 pm IST

TIRUCHI, TAMILNADU: 28/08/2015:  A huge branch of G-9 banana which is being exported to foreign countries from Tamil Nadu, at National Research Centre  Tiruchi....Photo: A.Muralitharan

TIRUCHI, TAMILNADU: 28/08/2015: A huge branch of G-9 banana which is being exported to foreign countries from Tamil Nadu, at National Research Centre Tiruchi....Photo: A.Muralitharan

he National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) has taken up research on developing a genetically modified banana variety rich in iron content.

The research project commenced a year ago and has been taken up jointly with the Queensland University, Australia, Department of Biotechnology, and the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research in Bengaluru, said B. Padmanaban, Director (in-charge) of NRCB at the centre at Podhavur village near here on Friday.

Speaking at a function to mark the 22{+n}{+d}Foundation Day of the NRCB, Dr. Padmanaban said that banana was rich in various vitamins, minerals, and iron content. The research would seek to develop a banana variety with enhanced iron content. It would be of much benefit for persons with iron deficiency, he said.

The NRCB was a pioneer in producing value-added banana products particularly banana-fibre based products. Apart from encouraging farmers to take to its technologies, NRCB was motivating entrepreneurs in banana by honouring them with awards.

S. Ayyappan, Director-General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, in his address, said there was a growing increase in the area under horticulture crops. He said that a series of programmes on value addition in banana, research, and extension services by NRCB had gone down well with the banana cultivators across the country.

K. Alagu Sundaram, Deputy Director-General (Agricultural Engineering), ICAR, appealed to banana growers to adopt better post-harvest technology for higher profit.

Earlier, Mr. Ayyappan honoured the banana growers with certificates and awards in recognition of their achievement in banana cultivation during last season.

Farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala participated in the meet.

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