AP exports 42,935 MT of bananas during 2020-21
Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh has done exceedingly well in export of bananas during 2020-21 notwithstanding the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in reply to a question raised by Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, informed on Friday that there is a huge demand in the overseas market for the Grand-9 variety of banana.
Grand-9 is a high-yielding cavendish variety wherein the plant grows up to a height of 7.5 feet. In tissue culture plants, the bunches can be cultivated within 12 months. This is a highly popular variety among the farmers from various parts of AP.
Stating that they are encouraging exports in a big way, the Minister quoting details available with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), based on the phytosanitary certificates issued by the State Horticulture Department, said AP had exported 42,935 MTs of bananas during 2020-21.
She said the promotion of exports of agricultural commodities like bananas is an ongoing process. The APEDA, an autonomous organisation under the administrative control of the Department of Commerce, has the mandate to promote exports of bananas. from Anantapur and Kadapa districts. A cluster for banana exports has been identified under the APEDA, in collaboration with the State Government, for taking several steps to promote exports of banana from the State.
The initiatives identified include organising capacity building programmes in collaboration with national research institutions and horticulture universities; mobilising potential exporters; encouraging formation of new FPOs, implementing Global GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) certification; organising buyer-seller meets; providing training on fertigation; promoting 100 percent tissue culture plantations in the cluster.
In addition, the Indian Railways has introduced an exclusive train with reefer containers to transport bananas from Anantapur to JNPT. APEDA also provides assistance to the exporters of bananas under various components of its scheme viz. infrastructure development, quality development and market development.