Farmers in the northern belt of Mahottari district have been drawn toward commercial banana cultivation.
A growing number of farmers in Bardibas, Bhangaha, Gaushala and Aaurahi municipalities in the district are taking to commercial banana farming as it is lucrative and low-cost.
They have started planting the improved varieties of banana, especially of the robestra and malbhog varieties instead of the local variety bananas including Mirchman, Jhapari, Battisa and the local malbhog.
Robestra variety banana has become the first choice of the farmers for its high yield and comparatively small size plant.
Satya Narayan Yadav of local Bhangaha-4 has planted the improved varieties of malbhog and robestra bananas on one bigha plot. His annual net earning from this is over Rs 100 thousand.
Robestra variety has become popular among the banana farmers as it has high yield and produces fruits in nine months from planting. As many as 80 plants of this variety of banana can be grown on a single kaththa land. Moreover, it is the first choice of the consumers as well for its taste.
“The demand for robestra variety banana is growing and we don’t have to worry about it not selling,” said Chhathu Mahara, a banana farmer of Hatisarwa Jhapaul, Bhangaha-6.
An increasing number of young farmers are taking to banana cultivation as it can be done with less investment and requires less effort, according to the District Agricultural Development Office.
The district agricultural development office said banana cultivation is done on approximately 100 hectares in Mahottari district. Pashupatinagar, Phulbaritol, Ramnagar and Hatisarwa of Bhangaha Municipality, Belgachhi, Laxminiya and Bharatpur of Gaushala municipality, and Bhoil, Sonamai and Shreepur in Aaurahi municipality in the district are the pocket areas where commercial banana farming is done.