Drought conditions in Maharashtra’s banana growing belt has proved to be a boon for farmers in Burhanpur of Madhya Pradesh, who are selling their produce to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and are also exporting to Iran.
“This year, drought in Jalgaon and Nanded in Maharashtra has affected supplies from that region and led to rise in demand of bananas grown in Burhanpur,” Raghunath Patil, president of local farmers association told HT.
Banana prices in wholesale markets has touched Rs 1,500 per quintal this year from Rs 900-1,000 in 2015. Good quality bananas from Burhanpur have also been supplied to Kashmir, but the supply has been halted for the past seven weeks due to turmoil in the valley.
“This year, weather has been conducive in our region and there has been no outbreak of disease in the crop unlike last year and so the production has been good,” Patil said.
Burhanpur is a major banana growing district in the country as 16,000 hectares out of 1,03,000 hectares of cultivable land in the district is dedicated to banana cultivation. Expansion of cold storage facilities in the state has also lessened chances of crop infestation.
Madhya Pradesh is the sixth largest banana producing state and accounts for 5.8% of the total production of the country. Last year, banana production in the state crossed 17 lakh tonne. Apart from Burhanpur, bananas are also grown in Kukshi, Dhar and Balaghat. Farmers now want to export their products to countries like Russia and the Persian Gulf.
Bananas, which are rich in potassium, vitamin C and magnesium are also used in Ayurveda.