Banana : Post harvest handling and value addition
Banana is a high value crop which is one of the oldest fruit crops known to mankind and it is a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals essential for human diet. It is referred as ‘Poor man’s apple’.
Banana is globally ranked fourth, next to rice, wheat and maize in terms of gross value of production.
Value addition in banana provides high income through local and international trade. The biomass left in the field after harvest viz., rhizome, pseudostem and male bud are valuable resources, both in quantity and quality. They can be converted into value added products and marketed, which will serve as an additional income to farmers.
Bananas are consumed as ripe fruit ,processed raw fruit and also used for culinary purpose. Banana is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Thus banana can be considered as a choice food for infants and elderly.More than 15 varities suitable for are cultivated in different agroclimatic zones throughout Kerala
Culinary varieties: Monthan, Batheesa, Nendrapadathy -
Banana being the most important fruit crop of Kerala, product diversification and marketing will invite entrepreneurship build up and export.
Coconut is the most important cultivated crop in Kerala. Among the leading coconut producing states in India, Kerala stands first in area and second production in coconut. The coconut sector contributes around 15% of total agricultural GDP of Kerala. Coconut has the advantage of having hundreds of uses which no other oil seed or horticultural crop can claim. Coconut products and by-products can be commercially utilized for multiple purposes. Coconut is a food as well as an oil seed crop. It is also a source of fiber, timber, and fuel. The coconut palm is also a beverage crop in many states in the country. The kernel is an integral part of the diet of the people of the West Coast of India. Nutritious milk is obtained from the kernel, which yields oil on its boiling (Virgin coconut oil). The coconut milk is an essential
ingredient in many culinary preparations. The dried kernel or the copra is the richest source of cooking oil of Kerala, which is also used as hair oil, body oil and industrial oil throughout the country. It is an illuminant and lubricant as well. Coconut oil is an ingredient in most of the premium cosmetic products.
Coconut oil yields many oleo chemicals which have wide applications in various sectors. It can also be converted into bio-diesel. The coconut oil cake, the residue obtained after the extraction of oil from copra, is a good cattle feed. Coconut palm yields toddy, from which jaggery, vinegar and arrack are manufactured. The timber of coconut is used in house construction and to make furniture, wall panels, show pieces and floor tiles.
The inflorescence of coconut is used to make ayurvedic medicines. The tender coconut is used as a nutritious health and sports drink and is a base for many ayurvedic preparations. The water of mature nut yields products such as vinegar, jelly, Nata de coco and wine. The shell is used as a fuel besides manufacturing various
commercial products such as shell powder, shell charcoal, shell based activated carbon, ice cream cups,buttons of garments, utility articles and show pieces. The soft bud of the palm is edible and nutritious. Spongy ball like haustorium developing inside the nut when stored over a period is a sweet delicacy which can be exploited as commercial value added product. The leaf of the palm is used for thatching houses. Dried leaves are used as fuel besides serving as country torch in villages. The spindle leaf is used for decoration and costuming in folk dances. The midribs of leaves are used to make brooms, fish traps, baskets and tongue cleaners. The husk yields fibre and pith. The fibre is made into hundreds of products, which enjoy both domestic and export market. The pith is a soil conditioner and rooting medium besides having many other uses. The spathe and stipules are used as fuel and for manufacturing handicrafts
Spice crops account for a predominant position in the agricultural economy of the State. Kerala holds a supreme position in the production of pepper. Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB) pepper, Cochin ginger (low fibre content), Aleppey Finger Turmeric (AFT), Aleppey Green Extra Bold (AGEB) Cardamom were internationally accepted varieties from Kerala. Organic spices as well as value added spices are assuming significance. -
Spices contribute rich flavor to food without adding any calories, fat, sugar or salt. Spices have anti oxidant, antibacterial, anti inflammatory, anti viral properties. India is known as the spice capital of the World. Many of the spices also have an important place in the field of medicine and cosmetics. Spices help in preserving foods. Pepper cardamom, cumin, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger etc. are spices which need attention is value addition.
The global seasoning and spices market size is expected to reach 50.1 billion by 2028. Since there is high demand for health wellness products and increased food industry demand for spice blends, there is an ample scope in the value addition and marketing of spices in the world.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as International Year of Millets on 5th March 2021. Now Government of India has decided to celebrate IYoM 2023 to make it people's movement so that the Indian millet recipes, value added products are accepted globally.
Unlike other cereals millets have less water and input requirement. Most millets being short duration crop act as contingent crop in the situation of natural calamities. Millets are good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Millet village: Millet village was implemented in Attappady of Palakkad district which is the traditional millet growing tract of Kerala.
- Value addition/processing: An incubation center was established at Attappady for processing millets
- Organic certification: The millet grown in Attappady has got organic certification recently
Millets can be considered as a potential crop to cope up with the climate change and decreasing water availability and for better environmental sustainability.