October 01, 2020

Minister returns with banana plant solution

Patna: Experts from Belgium, France and Italy would soon visit Bihar to help banana growers of the state address the Panama wilt disease which affects banana plants.

Panama wilt is a soil-borne disease and banana plants often get damaged because of it. There is no effective solution available in India at present using which the problem could be addressed.

State agriculture minister Prem Kumar shared the information with the media after returning from a tour of the three countries during which he, along with department officials, interacted with the experts who have done extensive research on diseases which affect plants.

The minister said scientists in Belgium had done extensive research to address the Panama wilt disease and officials accompanying me closely monitored the works having been done there in this field and also had a discussion with those engaged in research work.

In Bihar, the banana cultivation is mainly done in Katihar, Purnea, Khagaria, Bhagalpur and Vaishali regions. Around a lakh farmers are engaged in banana cultivation on 32,000 hectares of land and the state produces around 15 lakh tonnes of banana every year.

The problem of Panama wilt has been mainly reported from Purnea and Katihar regions. The minister said in the three countries, which he and the officials visited, extensive research had been done on diseases that hit banana and other fruit and vegetable plants.

The team also visited the Biodiversity International Centre where germplasm has been collected from across the world and this is used for conducting research to find solution for the diseases that hit plants.

Agriculture produce commission S.K. Singh, director horticulture Arvinder Singh and Bihar agriculture university scientist Amrendra Kumar, accompanied the minister during the trip abroad.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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