Value addition to banana to receive a boost

The first batch of select entrepreneurs who can add value addition to prolong the shelf life of perishable horticultural and agricultural products will be trained at the Central Food Technological Research and Training Institute (CFTRI) from Monday.

This is under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprise (PF FME) Scheme announced by the Centre, under which the State has identified one district for one product (ODOP). Mysuru has been selected for value addition to banana and six persons from the district will take part in the training. The CFTRI will conduct training for entrepreneurs from across the State and such development programmes will be held frequently to handhold the participants venturing into entrepreneurship.

Joint Director of Agriculture M. Mahanteshappa said the focus is on perishable products which cannot be preserved for more than a couple of weeks unlike agricultural produce that have a long shelf life. Nearly 2,000 hectares of land is under banana cultivation in Mysuru district and there was good demand for the banana-based processed food products as well.

The entire exercise is part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and is expected to give the micro food processing sector a fillip. The focus is only on one product per district so as to reap the benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs and availing services, including product marketing. The identification of the product for each district is also based on the presence of ancillary or allied units that can benefit from promoting a particular crop or product.

Mr. Mahanteshappa said there is a 35% credit-linked capital subsidy for shoring up infrastructure for value addition of the produce qualified under ODOP.

In Mysuru district, 60,803 hectares is under horticultural crops of which banana cultivation covered nearly 12,782 hectares, as per the Department of Horticulture.

The production in 2018-19 was 2,42,940 tonnes and the yield was pegged at 19.01 tonnes per hectare. Banana plantation was maximum in H.D. Kote where the fruit covered 4,734 hectares and the production was 89,907 tonnes followed by Nanjangud (3,667 hectares and 66,200 tonnes of produce).

The bordering district of Chamarajanagar has been identified for value addition to turmeric. In all, 9,587 hectares was under turmeric production in 2018-19 in the district and the output was 56,122 tonnes with an yield of 5,785 kg per hectare.

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