CONSERVATION ANLI RECYCLING OF ANANA ORCHARD WASTE: THE NEED OF TIME FOR INDIAN BANANA GROWERSNiteen V. Phirkel and Raman M. Kothari
Last three decades have seen indiscriminate application of chemical fertilizers, flood irrigation and use of chemical pesticides for improving banana production. Cumulatively, these inputs have reduced amount of organic carbon, soil microbial activity and increased water logging/salinity, thereby giving stagnated/less yields year after year. Brainstorming sessions with farmers desired a change in the strategy in such a way that cost of inputs reduced and fertility improved so that productivity of banana could be remunerative.Agronomical analysis revealed that recycling of banana pseudostem waste upon composting has intrinsic ability to enhance microbial flora of soil, improve its texture and fertility by simultaneously reducing input of chemical fertilizers and water by 50%. This is hoped to enhance fertilizer utilization efficiency and provide an opportunity for bio-dynamic farming at less cost desired by farmers, better quality banana desired by consumers and healthy eco-system desired for sustainable high productivity. Socio-economic aspects for such strategy are explored in this article.
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