In an effort to promote the organised cultivation and export of bananas, the Confederation of Indian Industry has created a feasibility report on Integrated Cold Chains for bananas in Tamil Nadu. The primary objectives are to enable the creation of supply chain and cold storage facilities, as well as create brand value for the fruit in the overseas market.
At a meeting held here on Monday, B Thiagarajan, Chairman of CII National Cold Chain Task Force said, “It is possible to market bananas at the right price and create a brand - ‘Tamil Nadu Bananas’ similar to ‘California Oranges’ and ‘Washington Apples’ by establishing a cooperative on the lines of the Amul Milk Cooperative.
Thiagarajan said that the feasibility report was referred to the Agriculture Secretary of Tamil Nadu, who has in turn referred it to an expert committee.
The expert committee first met in Coimbatore last month and will meet again in Theni on August 11 to take the process forward.
The committee has proposed to have six modules in six different zones i.e. Erode, Coimbatore, Thoothukodi, Theni-Madurai, Tiruchy and Thiruvannamalai-Vellore, with each module having a Central Pack House with 400Mts/day capacity & Multiple Collection centres. Each module will require a minimum of 5 acre land.
The CII, which will act as a facilitator, aims to create a forum where farmers, the government, agricultural research institutes and export market stakeholders can work to achieve this.
According to Thiagarajan, the CII has decided to promote Tamil Nadu for banana cultivation since the state is the highest producer of bananas in the country and accounts for about 25% of the total production with over ten varieties being cultivated here.