Banana farming flourishes in Chitwan

Chitwan, November 11:

Banana farming is flourishing in Jaymangala and Jamunapur areas of Ratnanagar in eastern Chitwan. The living standard of farmers in these areas has also improved due to banana farming.

Banana farming, which was started on eight bighas of land in eastern Chitwan in 2002 has now spread over 300 bighas. The farmers are expanding banana farming each year though they have no support from the government.

Babu Ram Bhatta, chairman of Gorkhali Banana Farmers’ Group (GBFG), has done banana

farming on 12 bighas of land while Ambika Adhikari, chairperson of Eastern Chitwan Banana Farmers’ Committee has planted bananas over 28 bighas of land in Bharatpur municipality-1.

The farmers here complained that the production cost for bananas here is more than that of Indian bananas, as they don’t have any support from the government.

Bhatta said, “The government should at least provide us some subsidy on fertilisers, pesticides and electricity for irrigation. If this is done, Nepali bananas can take over the market currently held by the Indian bananas.”

The farmers said profit of over Rs 50,000 can be generated from commercial banana farming.

Lila Raj Bhantana, another farmer said, “I earned Rs 340,000 from banana farming on my

one bigha and two kattha of land while production cost was Rs 90,000 only.”

Bananas produced in eastern Chitwan are sold in markets of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Baglung and Parbat. The farmers urged the government to bring in an insurance plan for banana farming as bananas tend to get damaged quickly due to sudden storms and hailstorms.