Farmer Patents His Secret Banana Biscuits, Earns Rs 25 Lakh Yearly

Farmer Ashok Gade from Maharashtra’s Jalgaon has innovated and patented his banana biscuits, using 50 different farmers and incomes triple the revenue.

Positioned on the northern fringe of the Deccan Plateau, Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district is wealthy in volcanic soil and is a significant enterprise centre for cotton and bananas. Usually tagged because the Banana Metropolis of India, Jalgaon produces 3.4 million tonnes of bananas and accounts for 70 p.c of Maharashtra’s banana manufacturing and greater than 11 p.c of that of India.

Regardless of these noteworthy statistics, banana cultivation stays an unprofitable enterprise for a lot of farmers.

“Every time we tried promoting our produce, we all the time incurred losses. We frequently questioned why banana farming shouldn’t be worthwhile. The one motive we might consider was its shelf life,” Ashok Gade (65) tells The Higher India.

“As soon as sown, we are able to harvest bananas solely after a 12 months. The harvesting interval is about 28 days. It prices us about Rs 150 to supply one jhaad [roughly 15 kg bunch] of bananas whereas we earn solely Rs 1,000 for a quintal [100 kg] of the produce — nearly the identical as the price of cultivation. We’ve got even bought bananas for Rs 1.25 per kg. Because the area produces bananas in bulk, we get low costs amid large provide. The market costs additionally maintain fluctuating,” he provides.

The farmer additionally factors out that since bananas are a perishable commodity, they can not inventory the produce. “Farmers must promote bananas as quickly as attainable. And if the produce begins ripening, we’re pressured to promote at throwaway costs. Usually we watch our hard-grown produce rot within the discipline,” says Ashok.

Ashok and his wife Kusum make biscuits from bananas.
Ashok and his spouse Kusum make biscuits from bananas.

So, as an alternative of promoting banana fruits immediately within the unstable market, Ashok and his spouse Kusum got here up with an thought to extend the shelf lifetime of the produce by processing the banana fruits into potential value-added merchandise. As we speak, the couple manufactures banana merchandise like banana chips, jam, candies, papad, chivda (flattened banana), and laddu.

Apparently, the couple has additionally innovated biscuits out of bananas. And in April this 12 months, the Central Authorities granted them a patent for his or her banana biscuits.

Stop legislation to grow to be a farmer

Born into an agricultural household in Yawal taluka, Ashok studied legislation in Jalgaon. After graduating with an LLB, he practised legislation for about 5 years. Nonetheless, he needed to stop his follow in 1990 after his father handed away.

He manufactures banana products like banana chips, jam, candies, papad, chivda (flattened banana), and laddu.
He manufactures banana merchandise like banana chips, jam, candies, papad, chivda (flattened banana), and laddu.

“For generations, now we have been cultivating bananas. After my father’s demise, all the accountability of managing the farm stumbled on me. I needed to stop legislation regardless of my curiosity in it,” says Ashok, who owns an agricultural land of 12.5 acres.

Amid excessive enter prices and low profitability, the progressive farmer determined to course of bananas into value-added merchandise like banana flour, jam, and laddus. “I didn’t study this system from wherever, so we continued to experiment with bananas. Finally, in the course of the processing, we innovated biscuits out of bananas. We used banana, ghee, and sugar to make these biscuits,” says the 65-year-old with out revealing their secret processing methodology!

For the final three years, Ashok and his spouse have been manufacturing and promoting these banana biscuits regionally. Not too long ago, they obtained a patent from the Central Authorities for a similar. This patent permits them the proper to cease others from copying their invention with out their permission.

Ashok and his wife are now selling these banana biscuits in other states including Karnataka, West Bengal, and Odisha.
Ashok and his spouse at the moment are promoting these banana biscuits in different states together with Karnataka, West Bengal, and Odisha.

“We wished to maintain our invention secured as it’s our baudhik sampada (mental property). After we earned the patent, the demand for our product elevated and we additionally earned recognition,” he says.

How value-addition helps farmers

Priced at Rs 400–500 per kg within the wholesale and retail market respectively, these banana biscuits have fetched the couple as much as 4 occasions income.

As we speak, the couple sells between 60 and 100 kg of banana biscuits in every week and earns an annual income of Rs 25 lakh by on-line marketplaces like Fb and offline exhibitions.

Their banana biscuits have discovered patrons not solely in Maharashtra but additionally in West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, and Delhi. “This patent may even enable us to increase our market to different nations as nicely,” says Ashok.

Considered one of their common prospects, Nilimi Divakar tells The Higher India, “The biscuits that we get out there comprise maida (refined wheat flour) which isn’t good for well being. We wished to change to more healthy alternate options. That’s once we came upon about these banana biscuits. As bananas are wealthy in calcium, I provide these biscuits to my children. Apart from the well being advantages, these biscuits are additionally good in style.”

Apart from the rising demand as a result of patent, Ashok is glad to have been in a position to profit farmers like him. “We’re getting extra orders and to have the ability to fulfill the demand, I’ve collaborated with 50 different banana farmers within the village,” he provides.

The couple has additionally established a producing unit ‘Sankalp Enterprises’ unfold throughout an space of 1,000 sq toes. “We bought equipment from Indore and Kolhapur and invested about Rs 30 to 40 lakhs in organising the unit. Due to the rising demand, now we have fully converted to processing the bananas. We don’t promote uncooked bananas anymore,” smiles Ashok.


How Jalgaon, ‘Banana Metropolis of India’, is quick turning into the ‘Banana Republic’: Printed by Monetary Categorical on 18 June 2018.

Edited by Pranita Bhat. All pictures: Ashok Gade.

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