Punjab goes bananas

Punjab, known for its prosperous wheat farmers, is set to transform into a banana state after the unqualified success of a small experiment with the fruit. From Hindustan Times:

bananasThe banana trial started two years ago on a small 10-acre patch of land. The very first crop, says Mewa Singh, a Ludhiana farmer, gave a net profit of Rs 1,50,000 per acre, dramatically lucrative for farm investors. Officials say the average profit per acre for wheat and paddy is no more than Rs 30,000.

Today, Singh is busy handling 2 or 3 enquiries every day about the viability of the crop. He has also become the president of the nascent Banana Growers’ Association.

Punjab rode to riches on the back of high-yielding varieties of wheat which helped the state’s hardy farmers, but that is linked to procurement prices supported by the government. New crops like bananas can suddenly alter this landscape. More

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