KOCHI:God’s Own Countries’ one more unique agriculture produce, Changalikodan Banana variety, specially grown in Thrissur-especially places close to the banks of Bharatapuzha, has found its place in the Geographical Indications Registry of of India. The members of the Changalikodan Banana Growers Association, Erumapetty in Thrissur, and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Cell of the Kerala Agriculture University which approached the GI Registry of India seeking Geographical Indication (GI) status under the Geographical Identification of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, have been informed that the unique produce of Kerala has received the registration certificate from the GIR, Chennai. The GI tag for this unique banana variety will ensure enhanced market returns for the banana growers who engage in the cultivation of Changalikodan which is famous for its visual appeal, quality and taste, said Dr C R Elsy, Head, Centre for IP protection, KAU. There is already big demand for the Changalikodan during festival seasons like Onam as it is often offered as ‘Kazhchakula’ to the presiding deity at various temples including Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, across the state. And there is no fixed price range for this banana variety like other varieties as the pricing is often determined by its visual appeal and quality, said Elsy. ‘Changalikodan’ Nendran Banana, aka ‘Chengazhikode’ Banana, is the most popular and traditional tasty Nendran cultivation of the state. As the name suggests, this banana originated from Chengazhikodu a village in the Thrissur. The Changalikodan variety is very different from other varieties of Nendran, as the hands of the Kazhchakula bear 20 to 25 golden yellow colour fruits, if cared well, and 7 to 10 hands are seen, in a cyclic arrangement.The farmers who cultivating the unique variety of banana in northern parts of Thrissur have had a tradition of their own, which was handed down from generation to generation. According to Gopi T S, secretary, Changalikodan Banana Growers Association, which is looking after the welfare of around 700-odd Changalikodan Banana farmers in the region, about one-third of the total area under this plantain cultivation is in Thrissur, about 90 hectares. However, the production was often significantly lesser than demand when comparing other varieties.
According to experts, this variety of Nendran banana is famous for its characteristic taste, bunch shape and fruit colour. Fruits are very tasty with a sugar content of 26-30 percent, acidity of 0.31 -0.60 percent and shelf life of 7-9 days.