A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Thursday, March 03, 2005
Posted 3:17 PM by Luigi
Banana processing around the world
Two stories from Ghana and India on adding value to bananas through processing.
Industries urged to process plantains, banana into industrial use
Asamankese (E/R), Feb. 22, GNA - The Project Coordinator, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Felix Anno-Nyarko had said there was the need to assess the post-harvest and marketing strategies of plantain and banana in Ghana. He said despite the importance of plantain and banana, post-harvest losses are very high in the country, as a result of the sensitivity of the crops to temperature.
Dr Anno-Nyarko said this on Monday during the launch of a new hybrid plantain at a farmers' forum at Asamankese in West Akim District in the Eastern Region. He said though there was the high demand for raw plantain, its processing into flour and chips and banana into fruit juice and baby food seemed not to be catching up and therefore, urged companies to shift their attention there.
Dr Anno-Nyarko said plans were far advanced to launch a consultancy study to assess the economic importance and determine seasonal trends of plantain marketing, both locally and for export among other factors that might be associated with the post-harvest management of plantain. He said the study would evaluate mechanisms involved in the post-harvest handling of plantain and banana, saying, "this would become a working tool for the future". He said the Food Research Institute of the CSIR had developed several products from plantain and banana with its co-ordinating partner, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) based in Ibadan, Nigeria, and had also developed novel processing options that reduce the bulk, extend the shelf-life and reduce transportation cost, while adding value and extending the market to the urban consumers.
Dr Anno-Nyarko said the information from the consultancy study would make it possible to assess the application of the available options and demonstrate these options to farmers and other stakeholders. He said there would be a systematic training and equipment acquisition programme targeting at least 900 women.
Tamil Nadu banana farmers seek value addition from the fruit
India News: Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Feb.17 - Banana growers, who were anxious to dispose of immature bunches or those falling off early due to wind, need worry no longer. There could be a huge demand for these in the days to come. Thanks to the National Research Centre on Banana (NRCB), which has exploited the technique of preparing "pickle" from such bunch, which would otherwise have been condemned as waste. Maybe it is yet another instance of generating wealth from waste (though not exactly).
Though there is a market for such immature bunch, growers do not get a good price, although they are desperate to effect a sale and realise cash instead of allowing the produce to rot. Banana pickle, Banana powder, Banana juice, Banana health drink, Banana wine, Banana jam, Banana chips and Banana cakes are some of the value added products to name a few. The research institute conducts training programmes regularly to create awareness on the value-additions to this fruit. The NRCB has evolved as many as 32 (formulae) value-added products, ranging from the common chips, slice, banana cereal to wine besides handicraft items using the plant fibre.
India is the world's largest banana producing country. It annually produces 16.5 million tonnes of banana which is grown in 4.5 lakh hectares of land. But the most unfortunate thing is that India even after being the largest producer of banana does not export it, this has made us to go for value added products. World production of banana is estimated at 48.9 million tonnes out of which 10.4 million tonnes, is contributed by India.
India ranks No.1 in production followed by Brazil (5.5 million tonnes), Indonesia (2.3 million tonnes), Philippines (3.8 million tonnes), China (1.9 million tonnes) and Australia (1.8 million tonnes). In India, Maharashtra state is the largest banana producing state followed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and others. In Tamil Nadu banana is cultivated in 83,308 ha with an annual production of 2,782 million tonnes (mainly in Tiruchi district which is a cauvery delta region). The productivity in Tamil Nadu is 33.39 tonnes/ha compared to 38.1 tonnes/ha in Gujarat. Banana is easy to digest, fat free and rich in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. It has a caloric value of 67 to 137 calories per 100 grams. (ANI)
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