Random patches of banana plantations are now increasingly breaking the monotony of western UP farms, dominated by sugarcane crops for centuries now.
"Nothing motivates western UP farmers more than profits. Soon, the whole region will go bananas over this fruit crop, whose demand is also very high.”
Bananas are currently being cultivated on over 250 hectares of farmlands in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Bijnor. The agricultural university, through the tissue culture technique, developed multiple saplings of a special-variety disease-free banana named Grand Nine (G9). It takes less time than the conventional methods to grow. The University also motivated farmers to sow the carbohydrate-rich fruit which "yields more than double the income as compared to sugarcane."
"Maharashtra has led banana production in the country for decades now. Later, some eastern UP districts like Maharajganj, Lucknow and Sitapur also witnessed large scale plantations. Sugarcane remained a favorite among western UP farmers. Now, for the last two years, the banana is making an entry into the region," said Sengar, under whose supervision the project is being managed.