One of the most exotic fruit crops of Goa is the famous Myndoli banana or Moira banana. Known as Myndoli kellin or Myndoli keli in Konkani, this banana is one of the most popular and tastiest found in this region.
This native banana is cultivated in Pernem, Bardez and Bicholim talukas in North Goa district. Myndoli banana plantations are generally found in areas along the river tributaries of Chapora and Mapusa rivers which provide the well-drained soil rich in organic matter, iron, manganese and copper. The lateritic soil has a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 with an abundance of micro and essential minerals. It is the large deposits of minerals that determine the number of fingers and hands in a bunch. The high TSS content is also attributed to the soil characteristics, water quality and climatic conditions.
The warm and humid climatic conditions with good rainfall (an average of 3000 mm in this district) during the harvest season (August to November) also aids in the production of excellent quality bananas with respect to size, colour and nutritional value.
Myndoli banana is largely grown as a single crop by highly skilled farmers who use their hereditary training in every step. Myndoli banana is a tall variety under the AAB genome group. The fruits are long and big and dark yellow in colour weighing about 200 g. A bunch of Myndoli bananas weighs about 40 to 50 kg and has 9 to 19 hands with each having about 12 to 14 fingers. It is estimated that the average yield is about 20 to 25 kg per plant and average production is around 50 to 60 tonnes per hectare.
Myndoli banana is the longest size native banana available in Goa. It has a long shelf life (up to 10 to 12 days), is firm with medium thick skin, lesser seeds and sinfully sweet and therefore used in the preparation of desserts, milkshakes, ice creams and others. A lot of local delicacies like the Myndoli Kelya Chi Halwo and others are prepared from this banana. This banana is also steamed, roasted and lightly fried in ghee.
This variety commands a higher price because of its size, quality and taste (bigger bananas are the costliest). It is considered to be the best gift by the locals for functions and festivals. This unique banana is nutritious, medicinal, high in energy, vitamins and minerals.
This indigenous banana received the Geographical Indication Tag (GI) in 2020.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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