The ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) in Tiruchi will soon evolve a standard protocol for the export of nendran bananas by sea from Kerala to Europe to cater to the ethnic Indian population there.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to establish the sea protocol was signed between the NRCB and the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK), a nodal agency for horticulture promotion in Kerala, at Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
Exporting the fruit by sea would be much cheaper than sending them as air cargo. NRCB has already developed the protocol and helped in first successful sea shipment of nendran banana to Dubai in 2017. Subsequently, it had worked in partnership with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), TN Agricultural University, TN Banana Growers Federation, and University of Udinae, Italy, to develop and ship Indian Grand Naine banana to Europe in 2018.
S. Uma, Director, NRCB, while speaking at the MoA signing ceremony on Wednesday, observed that India is exporting 200 containers of banana, worth ₹3 to 4 bln (€ 39-52 mln) annually to the Middle East. India was the largest producer of banana having more than 10 ethnic varieties such as nendran, red banana, poovan and ney poovan. According to an article on thehindu.com, all these varieties have the tremendous potential for export to markets in the USA and Europe.