Young innovator turns Sitamarhi village into Bihar’s banana hub

Sitamarhi (Bihar) (IANS) It is said that if calamity strikes, it brings with it the scope of newer avenues and opens the door for new beginnings, if only one has the courage and passion to strive towards their goal.

Abhishek Anand, a young farmer from Majorganj block of Bihar’s Sitamarhi district did something similar in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. Anand started growing bananas and made his village a banana hub by including many farmers in his endeavour.

Up until some years ago, farmers used to consider the cultivation of bananas as a means of livelihood, but the farmers of Khairwa Bishnuathpur village have now developed it into a business prospect by adopting modern methods to increase its production.

Anand and the farmers cultivate bananas on more than 25 acres of land, eight acres of which is cultivated by Anand himself. He also prepares and sells banana chips and has set up a processing unit for chips, as it has good demand in the market.

Anand, who has a postgraduate degree in Agriculture, while speaking to IANS said that he returned to his village after lockdown was imposed during the pandemic and found that he had plenty of time, but nothing to do.

He shared that he did not know how to use his knowledge of farming and eventually had a desire of cultivating bananas.

He then contacted the Horticulture Department’s office in his district to know more about the techniques for better production of bananas. Initially, he started horticulture of the G-9 variety of bananas with tissue culture technique in two and a half acres.

Anand by himself grows 150 tonnes of bananas. He said that drip irrigation method is used in the fields for the trees.

The young farmer said that earlier Bihar’s Hajipur and Purnea were known for their banana produce while Sitamarhi was known for its sugarcane cultivation. However, the bananas now grown in Majorganj are not only sold in India but also exported to Nepal.

The demand for the banana chips prepared on Anand’s farm has seen a rise in demand in markets.

Anand said that currently 8-10 farmers are associated with him at the local level, wherein five are young farmers, adding that many locals have got employment due to banana cultivation endeavour.

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