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Grand bananas go places

DC | V. PALANIAPPAN
Published Dec 15, 2013, 8:20 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 12:14 am IST
Tamil Nadu’s G-9 banana variety is a big hit in Gulf and Afghanistan.

Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu‘s new G-9 banana variety is a big hit in the Gulf countries.  About 21,500 tonnes of the G-9 or Grand Naine bananas from the farms in Coimbatore and Theni were exported to Gulf, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia and Afghanistan last year.

The 18 cm long yellow banana is perhaps the sweetest of all bananas- more delicious than Kerala’s celebrated Nendran. The G-9 also has a longer shelf life and stays bright yellow for more than two weeks after ripening. Also, it is a high-yielding variety, with each bunch carrying more than 250 fruits in 15 to 17 tiers.

 

“Grand Naine bananas have a shelf life which is much longer than the Robusta. While the latter tends to drop from the bunch in two to three days after ripening, G-9 stays intact for more than two weeks, maintaining its signature aroma and delectable taste. That’s why this fruit has become most appealing to farmers, markets and consumers,” said K Sivanandham, Agronomist of Jain Irrigation system.

The Grand Naine is grown on 300 acres at Sirumugai in Mettupalayam and spread over 30,000 acres in Theni. This variety was first brought from Israel, Philippines and South Africa in 2003. It has picked up popularity over the last couple of years and the farmers are hopeful of doubling its exports this year to over 40,000 tonnes.

 

The President of Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation, A. P. Karuppaiah said that big farmers in Tamil Nadu are now much interested to grow the G-9 variety since it yields an average of 50 kg per bunch of bananas.

At the two-day banana expo at CODISSIA in the city that began Saturday, it was the G-9 that stole the show. Farmer Gurunathan and his son, who are cultivating this banana variety on 30 acres in Theni district, had displayed the G-9 bunches at their stalls.

“Our entire family is into banana cultivation. The Grand Naine is our mainstay with yields averaging 50 kg per bunch”, said Loganathan, a BBA graduate, who has taken to farming. One of the Grand Naine bunches was about 68 kg with 282 fruits; another weighed about 61 kg with 255 fruits.

 

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Location: Tamil Nadu




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