Farmers go bananas over high earningsTikapur Municipality has developed as a centre of banana production with an increasing number of farmers cultivating the popular fruit.
Tikapur Municipality has developed as a centre of banana production with an increasing number of farmers cultivating the popular fruit. The agriculture office under the Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project has been promoting banana farming, which has led to the municipality’s becoming a production hub.
Kul Prasad Tiwari, coordinator of the agriculture programme of the national pride project, said that they were planning to extend banana farming on another 50 hectares of land. “The farmers want the banana acreage to be expanded to 70 hectares,” he said. Bananas are presently grown on 55 hectares.
Farmers make a net profit of Rs300,000 per bigha of land by growing bananas, and this has attracted them to cultivate the fruit in a big way.
Bananas are grown on 800 hectares of land in Kailali, with Tikapur accounting for half of the total production, according the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO). Banana cultivation is done in Narayanpur, Manuwa, Joshipur and Chaumala besides Tikapur.
Farmers said that they were attracted to banana farming because they could earn a lot of money from it, and the farming practice was also easier compared to other crops. The fruit is not only consumed raw. A variety of dishes are prepared using bananas, which are popular among local and foreign tourists, according to farmers. Many farmers are reported to have taken up banana farming by renting land due to the high returns.
The bananas produced here are shipped to Bardia, Banke, Dang and Butwal. However, Nepal still imports a large quantity of bananas from India.
“As Indian bananas ripen after they are put in a ripening chamber, they look attractive to consumers,” said Tiwari. “We have also proposed to install such equipment in Tikapur.”
Banana plants are also vulnerable to diseases such as decaying of the budding place.
According to Binod Sah, a farmer from Tikapur, there are also problems like blackening of the leaves. Such problems have been observed in banana plants cultivated through tissue culture technology, said Tiwari.
Tikapur farmers make a net profit of Rs300,000 per bigha of
land by growing bananas, and this has attracted them to
cultivate the fruit in a big way