The price of banana has hit a new low as more countries are pushed into lockdown state owing to the impact of Novel corona virus (or COVID-19). Iran, one of the biggest importers of Indian Bananas, has gone into a lockdown. It will be interesting to see how the recent relaxation of lockdown will help Banana growers across India, the world’s largest producer of bananas.
One of the healthiest snacks, banana is the world’s most globally exported fruit, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). That is something to worry about as COVID-19 is breaching borders through imports.
India produces 27 million tonnes of bananas every year, and cultivates about 100 named cultivars (varieties). Most bananas grown in India are consumed domestically.
We have already seen in the earlier blogs that the price of a tonne of banana previously priced between 13,000 and 14,500 not more than a month ago, fell sharply below 8,000.
Many fruit companies have stalled operation and exhausted its cold storage also. Exports of the fruit will continue to be heavily impacted even after the lifting of restrictions. According to reliable sources, social distancing measures in place have capped the number of workers. Exports have declined sharply resulting in the flooding of local markets with stocks from the different parts of the country. Farmers are anticipated good prices for prospective buyers.
In view of the challenges gripping the control of this deadly global pandemic and the risk posed to the supply of banana, it requires a concerted effort from both the Central and state governments, local bodies, industry, international and research institutions to revive the fortunes of the industry.