While floriculture is catching up across the State as a sunrise industry, ornamental bananas may soon emerge as a new crop ensuring the farmers a steady income.
An on-farm trial carried out by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Sadanandapuram, has proved it as a promising and under-explored area in the cut flower industry.
“Apart from landscaping purposes, they can be used to make impressive bouquets and other floral arrangements. It’s for the first time an on-farm trial is being conducted in Kerala, and if the market is receptive, ornamental bananas can create a new boom in the floriculture industry,” says Dr.V. Saroj Kumar, assistant professor, Horticulture, KVK, who led the team.
During the trial, the research team opted for three hybrid ornamental bananas developed by National Research Centre for Banana (NRC-B), Trichy, that include OCR, OxZ, and RxZ. A total of 10 trials were carried out starting from the second week of June 2022, and early flowering was observed in OxR within 70-75 days of planting. The hybrid OxR is quite eye-catching with its vibrant flowers and is best suited as a patio or garden plant. Ornamental bananas are unique in their appearance due to brightly colored bracts and red blotches on the upper surface.