The Union government has gifted Bihar a banana research centre that will be constructed, at a cost of USD $2,418,416, in Goraul in Vaishali and will help revive the cultivation of the fruit, which was once an important cash crop for state farmers.
It will function under the Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (RPCAU) at Pusa in Samastipur.
RPCAU director (extension education) Krishna Murari Singh, told The Telegraph: "Banana is an important cash crop in Bihar and is extensively grown in Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Purnea, Bhagalpur, Madhepura, Katihar, Darbhanga and several other districts. However, its cultivation and production has suffered over the past few decades."
The proposed centre, the second such in the country after the National Research Centre for Bananas at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, will focus on the reasons for the low production of bananas, and will work on the expansion of its cultivation, plant protection, a suitable utilisation of its various parts - such as pulp and fibre - processing, marketing, and value addition.