ICAR- National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchirappalli and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), New Delhi jointly organized a two day consultative workshop on ‘Export of GI and traditional bananas: Present scenario, trade opportunities and way forward’ during 21-22 December, 2022. Dr. M. Angamuthu, IAS, Chairman, APEDA, New Delhi was the Chief Guest of inaugural session and Mr. C. Samayamoorthy, IAS, Agricultural Production Commissioner, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu graced the occasion as Special Guest. Ms. Rajalakshmi Devaraj, IDAS, Addl. DGFT, Chennai; Dr. V. Geethalakshmi, Vice Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore and Dr. K.M. Indiresh, Vice-Chancellor, UHS, Bagalkot; Dr. V.B. Patel, ADG (Horticultural Science -II), ICAR, New Delhi were the Guests of Honour. The inaugural session was presided over by Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director, ICAR-NRCB, Tiruchirappalli. On this occasion, six publications were released and three awards were conferred. ‘Best initiative award’ was conferred to M/s.Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., Jalgaon, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation, Thottiyam. The ‘Best banana conservator award’ was conferred to Tamil Nadu Hill Banana Growers’ Federation. More than 300 participants attended the export workshop and an exhibition was also organized wherein more than 100 varieties and land races of banana were displayed. The consultative workshop was conducted in three technical sessions in two days. There were 30 keynote lectures were delivered by experts of banana export, supply chain management, representatives from Government agencies, marketing experts and PPV&FRA. The Plenary session of the workshop was held on 22 December, 2022. Dr. M.K. Shanmugasundaram, IAS, Development Commissioner, MEPZ,SEZ, Chennai was the Chief Guest and Dr. D.K. Agarwal, Registrar General, PPV &FRA, New Delhi and Mr. Alex Paul Menon, IAS, Joint Development Commissioner, MEPZ, SEZ, Chennai were the Guests of Honour. Dr. R. Selvarajan, Director, ICAR-NRCB in his concluding remarks, informed that there is a greater potential to export traditional Indian bananas as 32 million NRIs are present all over the world besides westerners. He opined that the bananas will create a market for as unique flavor and medicinal properties and attract higher global demand. He said many more banana varieties including Matti and Thella Chakrakeli which are cultivated in a restricted locations have to be protected by registering them as GI based on their distinct characters. In the valedictory session, a technical bulletin on protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights authority and a virtual image gallery titled ‘Diversity of bananas and plantains – A glimpse’ were released by the Chief Guest. He also gave away the certificates to persons who participated and made stalls in banana exhibition.
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