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Tissue Culture Technique to Boost Banana Yield.

Bhagalpur: The Bihar Agricultural University (BAU), Sabour, has embarked on plant tissue culture technique for commercial banana production with the help of Tissue Culture Laboratory (TCL), aimed at augmenting banana yield in the region.

The tissue culture technique is not only help to get better yield but also it is useful in containing fruit diseases which not only hit production but also wilting of banana flowers at early stage.

A BAU scientist said, “The tissue culture technique may bring about a revolution in the eastern region, especially in the Naugachia sub-division of Bhagalpur district, which is popularly known as the ‘Banana Bowl’ of the state. We cultivate the most fragrant varieties of banana, besides litchis and mangoes. The annual yield is over 3 lakh MTs of ‘Hari Chaal’ and ‘Robusta’ varieties of bananas, which are exported to various places.”

Through tissue culture method, the problem of preserving banana yield due to its low shelf life would be also solved. The method will help the banana growers of eastern region, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar where banana is grown in abundance.

Scientists at BAU also said, “Tissue culture is a technology applied in advanced countries for mass production of high grade planting material for most crops. Banana being a crop conventionally propagated by vegetative means, can easily be adopted for tissue culturing in a laboratory. It is widely used to produce clones of a plant through a method known as micro-propagation in order to produce exact or better variety of plants for good flowers, fruits or other desirable qualities.”

“It is a ground-breaking method for augmenting banana yields to cater to the increasing demand for commercial supply. We are working on G9 (Grand Nain) variety, which is one of the most commonly cultivated bananas and has a high yield,” said BAU Prof VB Patel, who is also the chief scientist in the department of horticulture.

Prof Patel said, “One of the most common disease known as ‘Panama Wilt’ is the biggest threat to banana cultivation in Bihar. Banana plants grown with the help of tissue culture method will also help to solve this problem. We can produce over 10 lakh of banana plants at the TCL, which will revolutionize the agro economy at the grassroots level.”

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