The initiatives of the Indian Horticulture Department seem to be yielding results. Apparently, the banana value chain development programme is contributing to the stabilisation of the prices, if the statistics available from 2018-19 are any indication. Experts say the programme is benefiting the farmers, more particularly small and marginal farmers, in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
More than 130,000 farmers are engaged in banana cultivation. Of them, more than 80% are small and marginal farmers. Total banana production in the state stands at 6.38 mln tonnes.
“Prior to implementation of the project, the farmers from Anantapur and Kadapa districts used to sell their produce in the informal markets. They used to earn less than the fair price,” says Horticulture Commissioner Chiranjeev Choudhary.
“The per kg price ranged between ₹6.40 and ₹8.50 in the domestic market during November-March 2017-18. It is between ₹7 and ₹13 during November-March 2020-21. The farmers’ income in the project area has increased exponentially, and the prices also stabilised due to commencement of exports and quality production,” Mr. Choudhary says.
Due to fluctuation in prices every year, the farmers are suffering in spite of quality production, he said. To overcome this, the department has started value chain development at all stages to improve the production, productivity and quality of fruit, duly involving experts from leading banana exporters in the country.
[ ₹100= €1.10 ]