Launch of Tissue Culture Grown Banana Fruit at IIIM Jammu.

In order to bring commercial cultivation of banana in J&K, IIIM has conceived a new biotechnology driven programme.
This work was jointly done by IIIM, Jammu and Cadila Pharmaceutical, Ahmedabad. After full trial and established tissue culture and agriculture practice, Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Director IIIM, Jammu launched the J&K grown banana fruit .

While giving the detail of experimental works involved in growing the banana by tissue culture technique at IIIM, Dr Vishwakarma, flanked by Desh Ratna, president Agro Divisional and Narendra Brahmbhatt, GM Finance & Costing, Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited, Ahmedabad, held a conference here and revealed that the samplings of this high quality tissue culture variety known as Bhim Grand Naine (G-9) banana were brought from Agro Division of Cadila Pharmaceutical Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and the first trial of cultivation over 2 acres land of field experimental farm Chatha has been successfully completed.

It was further informed that this first cultivation trial was done by planting 2000 samplings of banana plants with the narrow spacing 2 X 2 m in the month of August 2016 and fruit setting commenced in the month of July-August, 2017 whileas the maturity and harvesting attained in 13 months. The plant grew to a height of 6.5 to 7.5 feet and gave yield 20-30 kg per plant and 20-25 tonnes/acre. In term of economy involved, as per market analysis, price of banana in Jammu is approximately Rs 20 per kg. Thus on an average, 20-30 Kg yield/plant gives Rs 250-300/Banana plant. On the basis of market demand, approximately Rs 2.5 lakh net return can be obtained by cultivation of this crop on one acre of land which is attractive business for farmers of the Jammu & Kashmir State as it involves very less inputs but lucrative profit.

It will also provide opportunity to new entrepreneurs/SMEs engaged in manufacture of standardized extracts and botanical drug formulations, natural products etc. to evaluate their research leads and eventually graduate as entrepreneurs so that more number of industries could be setup and large number of employment can be generated.

Pertinently, in India, the most edible banana species are widely cultivated in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarart, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar whileas many wild species of banana are reported from Northeast and South India.
The next target of IIIM to introduce the banana cultivation in Kashmir region through modern biotechnology approach (Polyhouses) in 2018.

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