The state government and the Confederation of Indian Industry were planning to make Tamil Nadu bananas a global brand on the lines of Florida oranges and Australian kiwi fruits. They conducted a feasibility study to strengthen the integrated cold chain for banana and create brand equity for the fruit.
B Thiagarajan, convener of Agriculture and Food Processing Panel, CII and Purushothaman Ravichandran, chairman of CII-Tamil Nadu Banana Festival, said that as part of this initiative, the first edition of the two-day ‘CII Tamil Nadu Banana Festival 2012’ would be held at the Chennai Trade Centre from December 21.
He said the initiative by the state horticulture department, along with CII, was also to convert farmers into entrepreneurs, besides creating a brand for bananas from the state. The state produced 32 varieties of bananas and people outside the state were unaware of the brands due to lack of marketing.
Thiagarajan said that Tamil Nadu produced 28 per cent of total bananas in the country and a total of `6,000 crore worth bananas were wasted. The need of the hour was to have supply chains across the state and also make the farmer a stakeholder in promoting the brand.
He also highlighted that the biggest issue was to bridge the corporate sector-farmer trust deficit and CII was working on ways to strengthen the supply chain. The study zeroed in on six model locations, including Erode, Coimbatore, Thoothkudi, Theni-Madurai belt, Tiruchy and Tiruvannamalai.
Thiagarajan said this was part of the Vision 2023 initiative outlined by CM J Jayalalithaa where she stressed on a `11,000-crore initiative to boost infrastructure of the state by setting up cold chains.