A meeting involving growers, processors and market players in the banana processing industry was held to create a robust food value chain, which would be beneficial to the processing industry.
Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has launched a model called FRIG (Farmers, Government, R&D, and Industry) with a view to help Banana growers. This was unveiled at a recent stakeholders’ meeting involving growers, processors and market players in the banana processing industry with the aim to create a robust food value chain, which would be beneficial to the processing industry. There were press reports during December 2015 that farmers were forced to sell banana for a meagre Rs. 2/- per kg. In this context, AcSIR students as part of their project studies initiated interactions with farmers of Chamarajanagar district. Accordingly, around 2 Tonnes of fresh banana was procured and processed at the Institute Pilot Plant, packed and stored in cold storage. Some of the buyers were brought to the loop for the purchase of banana pulp. Samples were sent to pulp exporters for evaluation of products from their end. And some quantity of the pulp was sold through this route.
INTERACTION WITH WOMEN & CHILD DEVELOP-MENT DEPARTMENT
Interaction with Women & Child Development Department was a major step and they agreed to buy banana
bars for distribution as a food supplement to Anganwadi children. 25 g/day of the bar can provide approx. 90 kcal energy along with other micronutrients for a price of Rs. 4.00. Farmers groups, buyers and export houses along with officials from Women & Child Development Department and technologists from CSIR-CFTRI attended the meet in formulating a sustainable framework for a better future. Some quantity of Ready to Serve (RTS) beverage was made from the pulp and was made available through CFTRI canteen for sale to the staff and students of the institute. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ram Rajasekharan stated that the Institute would be releasing a new plant variety which has the potential to protect banana crop from spoilage. The plant can be grown as an intercrop along with other plantations. The Institute asserted to work for establishing a semi-processing unit through farmers cooperatives with the support from Government and other agencies, transfer of technology free of cost to such agri-enterprises, training and creating a network amongst them for ensuring proper returns to growers.
Central Food Technological Research Institute has launched FRIG (Farmers, R&D, Industry and Government) for the benefit of banana growers and processors.