A woman farmer’s readiness to innovate and use her excess banana produce to convert it into a value added product has started a revolution of sorts in parts of Karnataka.
Bananas, like any other agriculture produce, are subjected to market vagaries. At times, the price drops to Rs 5 per kilogram, making it so untenable that several growers feed their bananas to the cattle.
Nayana Anand, who is an organic farmer from Tumkur district, thought of converting this valuable and highly nutritious fruit into a value added product – banana floor.
Nayana read a Facebook post shared by agriculture educator and journalist Shree Padre, who wrote about a variety of uses of dried banana powder.
Padre connected Nayana to Jissy George, a subject matter specialist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Alappuzha district of Kerala. Jissy guided Nayana in understanding how banana can be converted into banana powder.
Nayana was quick to learn the art. She took a step ahead and started making a variety of dishes from banana floor — chappatis, cutlets, dosas, gulab jamun, rotis and many more.
Looking at Nayana’s enthusiasm, Shree Padre thought of taking her skill to other banana growers.
“We connected Nayana to about 100 farmers through Whatsapp. They too are making banana flour and are selling it locally. Some of them even have sold up to 100 kilograms of the flour,” Padre told The News Minute.
Uma Prasanna, a farmer in Dakshina Kannada’s Puttur, is one such banana grower. “I made chappatis and pooris with banana flour. I also made cakes, pancakes, guliyappa (a Udupi dish), milkshakes and many other dishes,” she said.
Uma Prasanna now plans to take her business to the next level. “I dry the banana with its peel, which is more fibrous. I will scale up my production soon,” she said.
Padre said the idea is inspiring many more. The Central Processing facility at Kotegadde, near Thirthahalli, too has taken up the job of making banana floor.