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How Jalgaon, ‘Banana City of India’, is fast becoming the ‘Banana Republic’

Known as the Banana City of India, Jalgaon district in north Maharashtra contributes about half of Maharashtras banana production and more than 16% of that of India. If it were a country, Jalgaon would still be the seventh largest banana producer in the world, reported the Indian Express. Besides, its average yields at 70 tonnes per hectare are way above global levels. Often tagged as the Banana Republic, for all the right reasons, Jalgaon has achieved what it has despite the absence of essential natural pre-requisites. The district, located over 300 km from the west coast and on the northern edge of the Deccan plateau, receives an average rainfall of just 750 mm yearly and the bananas are wholly produced by independent growers. So what makes it possible for an area that has extremely less water to still emerge as a It covers 15,000 plants using the same 15-hp motor used under normal flood irrigation that could at best water 10,000 plants. The effective water savings is 60-70 per cent, reported IE. Since the advent of drip irrigation in 1989, Jalgaon2 million tonnes to 3.4 million tonnes. This was overcome by close planting. Also, the individual plants are of uniform age. Banana distribution and export to Pakistan 4 million tonnes of bananas, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of Maharashtra

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