The farmer, Suraj Patil, has introduced the new ‘spacing method' in the cultivation of the G-9 variety of banana in his farm in Kamalapur, a region known for its red banana cultivation.
Mr. Patil has been awarded the Dr. Marigowda Memorial Best Farmer Award this year, an annual award presented to farmers for their contribution to horticulture. He is also responsible for getting the Kamalapur Red Banana the geographical indication status.
He says the new method of spacing at the time of plantation is being successfully followed in Israel and was first introduced in India by the National Council of Research in Banana (NCRB) at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. “I came to know of the method during my visit to NCRB at Tiruchirapalli and introduced the same for the first time in Gulbarga.”
A graduate in Arts who has followed the family practice of cultivating banana on the ancestral 10-acre farm, Mr. Patil told The Hindu that conventional spacing at the time of plantation allowed only 1,210 plants to be grown in one acre of land. In the new “triangular planting method”, as many as 1,710 plants could be grown in an acre.
Thus, according to him, 20 tonnes more of banana can be produced.
He cultivates red banana on four acres of land, and the G-9 variety of banana as well as other traditional crops, including red gram, on the rest of his farm, all using organic farming methods.
The farmer says his main interest is in protecting the red banana variety in Kamalapur. The banana is known to have medicinal properties and low sugar content, and is suited for those with diabetes, he adds.