28th Foundation Day was celebrated at ICAR-NRCB on 21st August 2021

NRCB - aligns improved Banana Value Chain (BVC) and Marketing for the futuristic development of banana sector - NRCB’s new vision on Foundation Day

ICAR - National Research centre for Banana (Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Awardee 2020) focused its new vision on improved Banana Value Chain (BVC) and marketing strategies during the 28th Foundation Day celebration on 21st August 2021 which was held in a virtual platform. Dr. S. Uma, in her presidential address mentioned that ICAR-NRCB has made commendable contributions in basic, strategic and applied research with the technology development and dissemination for the holistic and sustainable development of banana agriculture in the country. The institute brought a sea change in banana cultivation by introducing banana improvement, production, protection and post-harvest technologies. Banana undergoes BVC 1 and BVC 2. BVC 1 is known as the traditional value chain in which small farmers sell their products in nearby market destinations. BVC 2 - the state of art value chain in which farmers sell their produce to both major and independent dealers. Still the approach of BVC has to be improved in order to double the farmers'income. Hence, the institute is bringing its focus towards improved Banana Value Chain (BVC) and its marketing.

Chief Guest Dr. A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort. Science), ICAR, New Delhi conveyed his best wishes to ICAR-NRCB for its commendable research and development. He mentioned that taking the banana cultivation to next level by including cutting edge technologies viz., AI, IOT and complete transparent marketing system. Further, he suggested post-harvest value addition with modern market technologies to enhance the export potential and tripling the farmer's income.

By releasing the Institute's various publications and five podcasts, Chief guest Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Govt. of India conveyed his best wishes to ICAR-NRCB. He mentioned the nutritional importance of banana for human health and need to increase the banana export potential by promoting the "Cluster Approach". Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat; the importance of branding has been getting momentum for all the products and One District One Product (ODOP) programme, the small and medium scale industries development has been well taken. Under this programme Trichy and Theni districts were covered under ODOP for banana development. Further, he suggested that TC plants for uniform growth and development to attract lucrative prices in export market, bio-stimulants to ensure quality planting material, expansion of label claim for newer chemical molecules to prevent the misappropriate use of unapproved chemicals in banana cultivation. For holistic development "Banana Net" has also been in thought.

In the function; to recognise the achievements of different stake holders, twelve different awards viz., best farmers, best FPOs, best technology disseminators, best KVKs, best entrepreneur, best business initiative, best Institute's employees' awards were bestowed. Different Hackathon Innovative ideas were awarded in banana production, processing and marketing.

Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, Former Director, ISRO; Dr. Pawan Kumar Singh, Director, IIM, Tiruchirappalli; Dr. M. Selvam, Vice Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli and Dr. B. K. Pandey, Assistant Director General (Hort. Science-II), ICAR, New Delhi were the Guests of Honour. They have conveyed their best wishes and appreciated the theme selected for the Foundation Day.

After the inaugural function in the morning, a webinar on "Banana Value Chain and Marketing - New Business Horizons" was organised in commemoration of the 75th year of India's Independence. And it was chaired by Dr. S. Uma, Director, ICAR-NRCB. The experts from different sectors have delivered their multidimensional views about the theme. The Guest speaker Mr. Karthik Jayaraman, CEO, Way Cool Foods, Chennai, highlighted the integration of traditional and innovative supply chain management. Dr. B. Dayakar Rao, Principal Scientist & CEO, Nutrihub, ICAR-IIMR, Hyderabad shared his success story about Millet value chain. Dr. P. K. Mandhyan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIRCOT, Mumbai highlighted the opportunities for banana fibres in the textile industry. Dr. Sudha Mysore, CEO, Agrinnovate India Ltd., ICAR, New Delhi emphasised the Government's support and its schemes available for Start-Up and entrepreneurs. Dr. K. N. Shiva, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRCB expressed his view on Start-up in banana. Dr. R. Selvarajan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NRCB acted as the convener for the event. Around 500 participants from across the length and breadth of the country registered and participated in the event.

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