What Makes Bananas Tasty?

Move over, chemical fertilizers! If the success of a city-based project to agriculture is any indication, this eco-friendly method may change the way farmers look at soil nutrition.

In an innovative “joint Venture”, scientists from the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) have been collecting urine from the city-based Swami Vivekananda School, the first schools and in the country to have ‘eco-logical sanitation’ and two other schools and an engineering college hostel around Doddaballapur for their experiment at Nagasandra.
G Sridevi, who fails from a village in Andhra Pradesh, is a research student in the department of soil science and agriculture chemistry in UAS and her project is supported by Arghyam, an NGO working in the water sector.
With the help of her guide Dr C A Srinivasamurthy, she selected the banana orchard of a farmer, Prakash from Nagasandra near Doddaballapur. A skeptical Prakash allowed the experiment to be conducted on 150 of the 800 banana plants in his one-acre orchard. “We were doubtful about the outcome. But our assumptions were proved wrong and the plants fed with urine bore fruit well in advance of the other plants. The typical weight of a banana bnch (yalakki bale) is 8-10 kg. But the bunches borne by these plants weighed 13-14 kg. Even the fruit is tastier,” said Prakash.
Considered investment-free, this eco-friendly ‘fertilizer’ has captured the imagination of many farmers around Doddaballapur.

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