The National Banana Festival 2017 is currently being held at the Agricultural College and Research Institute in Madurai, Tamil Nadu from July 21 to July 23.
A small stall which is exhibiting organically cultivated bananas from Assam at the show, has become a hit as it is drawing loads of visitors. Directorate of horticulture, Assam has fetched major banana varieties for display and offers a portion of the fruit for visitors to taste. The richness of the tiny piece of fruit called ‘Bhim kol’ is a feast for taste buds as one is left wanting more of the fruit.
H N Talukdar, district nodal officer of horticulture, said that Banana is ‘Tree of God’ in Assam and it is entwined in the culture of Assam. Most of cultivation in Assam by default is organic and banana is no exception. Even annual floods subsidize to the organic nature of the agriculture in Assam, he said. Some of the varieties are specific to Assam and the taste may differ if raised outside, he added.
From baby food to people from Assam use banana trees for variety of tenacities including makeshift boats to escape floods. The sheath and leaves are used as plates as well as warping material, temporary construction and shelter.
“The response from farmers to our stall is overwhelming and many of them are curious for the varieties. Due to transportation constraint, we could bring only selected varieties,” said agriculture development officer, Mukibur Rah.