Panaji: The famous Myndoli Banana (keli) of Goa is on its way to secure the prestigious GI (Geographical Indicator) tag. The Department of Science & Technology Govt. has applied for GI Registration of Myndoli Banana

Also known as Moira banana, the fruit is the most popular and tasty banana as compared to other variants available in Goa. The Myndoli banana easily stand apart from other bananas due to their larger size.

They are mostly long and tusk shaped.

Traditionally grown in villages of Pernem, Bardez and BicholimTaluka, it is believed that this banana first existed or introduced in Moira village, hence derived the name from the area of origin.

The most popular Goan”Myndolya Kelyacho Halvo” (ripe banana slices fried in ghee and cooked in sugar syrup) is made from Myndolya banana.

A bunch of Myndoli banana contains about 85 to 98 bananas. The fruit can attain a length of up to 45cm from stalk to tip. Its flesh is deep yellow to golden, meaty and firm’. Mandolin banana has better taste and less seeds because of which it is widely used in the preparation of juices and shakes in Goa as compared to other varieties.

Globally, banana is the fourth most important commodity. It occupies a respectful place in the Goan culture. It also has a deep link with the Goan folk-life. Going by the historical record, in Goa, the fruit is in fact given the status of a woman. No other plant or tree has been accorded such a status.

The plant bears fruits only once in its lifetime. Interestingly, it is believed that the plant suffers pains like humans when its cluster of fruits are cut from the top portion of the stem. During this process, it makes a peculiar sound. This process is called “KelPorjata” or Vhilta in the local language. (This sound has been experienced by the researcher)

In Goa, Myndoli banana is cultivated in an area of2,342 hectares with a total production of 23,420 tonnes/year. It can be cultivated in sandy loam to clay soil

A Geographical Indication (GI) points to a specific region of production that determines the characteristic qualities of the product which originates from that place. In order to obtain a GI tag, it is important for the product to derive its qualities and reputation from that region.

Goa’s proposal for GI tag is in consideration of the Central Government.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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