We’ve all grown up eating Nendran. In my family, my mother would stuff boiled Nendran into my mouth under the pretext of it being good for my body’s growth. Apparently, I should thank this banana for blessing me with a 5.4ft long body. In fact, our very own Pazhampuri is made using Nendran. Who doesn’t know of that, right? Of course, all Malayalis would confirm the fact that this banana has a peculiar taste that leaves us with a strong sense of Malayali within us. It reminds us of home. It reminds us of Kerala. And that’s why I am almost tearing up (happy, proud tears, I tell you) to this latest news that’s come in.
The Kerala Government has given the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) permission to take all the measures needed to export Nendran bananas to the EU. Yes, I knew that one day our Nendran would be going places. The State wants to bring in an international exposure to Kerala, and this seemed like the perfect way to pull it off. This initiative aims to find a global market for the banana variety; it will be implemented under the National Centre for Banana Research.
So, here’s how the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) plans to go about the export.
According to the Agriculture Export Policy, selected places in Kerala will focus on the 100% cultivation of Nendran with the help of farmers from Mattathur in Thrissur district. The Agriculture Department will bear all the initial costs required for the cultivation of the banana variety. The cultivation of Nendran began in the month of June in accordance with the directives from VFPCK and Banana Research Centre. The farmers have been trained to follow the food safety standards in Europe in order to meet the quality requirements. The harvesting season will begin by March, next year. Post which, the exports of the fresh, quality produce to Europe will begin via a sea route, aided by an agency located in Thiruvananthapuram.
If the first phase of the project is successful, it will be a proud moment for us Malayalis. Not only will revenue be generated, but it will also improve tourism within the state.