The preparation of the different dishes with Banana flour by the homemakers in the state of Karnataka got a special mention in the Prime Minister’s “Mann Ki Baat” Programme On-Air on All India Radio on 25th July, 2021.
Shri Narendra Modi applauded the efforts of farming communities and homemakers in Uttar Kannada and Dakshina Kannada Districts in Karnataka who ignited a culinary change by utilizing the Banana flour in the challenging times of COVID-19 Pandemic, especially when the restrictions brought in due to the lockdowns and glut in the market prevented the Banana farmers from realizing a decent price. The Prime Minister regarded it as a typical example of value-addition of agricultural produce for enhancing the income and home level nutritional security.
Ms. Nayana Anand, a resident from Tumkur’s contact with the ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Alappuzha for the details of the technology for preparing the Banana flour with the help of Shri Shree Padre of Adike Patrike, a farm-based journal sparked the moment.
She was provided with the technology and practical tips through WhatsApp Voice Clippings and Messages. Upon turning a bunch of plantain into sweets and savories for a week, posting pictures of her experiments, Ms. Anand created a buzz in Any Time Vegetable (ATV), a WhatsApp Group composed predominantly of the farmers in Uttara Kannada. This went viral and initiated the silent revolution.
The easy process of converting raw Banana of any variety into flour, without any fancy equipment or heavy investment except a drier, attracted the fancies of many in the group and became trending when the homemakers prepared the different delicacies out of the flour and publicized it.
Sensing the activity’s potential, Shri Padre got in touch with the Central Processing Facility at Kotegadde, near Thirthahalli, established by the Vanilla Growers’ Association. He persuaded them for processing the Banana flour and 50 Kg made from local varieties, which were distributed to homes. The families across Thirthahalli took-up the challenge and unleashed a culinary fiesta with Banana flour.
Dr. Uma Subbaraya, Director, ICAR-National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchi offered all support to the enterprising women. Thus, a small spark from the ICAR-KVK-Alappuzha has ignited the Entrepreneurial imaginations of many in the far away Districts of Karnataka leading to a silent revolution in the value-addition of Banana.
(Source: ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Alappuzha and ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, Kerala)