SRIKAKULAM: In an attempt to boost the financial condition of the tribal farmers, ITDA officials have introduced tissue culture in Agency area, which is the first of its kind in the ITDA areas. Following the directions of the Seetampeta ITDA PO L Shiva Shakar, horticulture officials have distributed G9 variety of banana saplings.
Horticulture officials had decided to introduce the tissue culture in six mandals in the Agency areas. The other areas would be brought under it depending on the returns of the initial attempt.
Tissue culture has been introduced in the Seetampeta, Palakonda, Burja, Veeraghattam, Hiramandalam and L N Peta mandals. Tribal farmers at present cultivate pineapple, turmeric, tamarind, custard apple, besides paddy.
“As the hilly area, particularly in the Seetampeta Agency region, is suitable for tissue culture, we have decided to encourage the farmers to switch to profitable banana cultivation,” said Shiva Sankar. The banana saplings were procured with the grants of Scheduled Tribes Cooperative Finance Corporation Limited (Tricor) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) at a cost of `3.20L. “Initially we have selected 50 farmers from six mandals in the limits of the ITDA,” he said.
Unlike the general variety of banana, G9 variety of banana can be harvested in just nine to 10 months where each bunch costs around `500, based on the demand.
“Keeping the financial condition of the tribal farmers in view we have distributed the babana plants at `2 each where the ITDA bore the subsidy cost of `14 on each plant,” he said.