Transgenders bear coaching in agri entrepreneurship at NRCB

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A group of eight transgender men and women had the opportunity to turn to agribusiness entrepreneurs by exploring the potential of bananas, a fruit widespread in the region, during a two-day training course recently organized here by the National Banana Research Center (NRCB) , exhausted.

The initiative was part of an NRCB mission to “Reach the Unreached”. Eight transgender people took part in the NABARD-funded program, including Kajol, president of Social Action For Emancipation (SAFE), an organization that works to uplift the transgender community, according to a press release by the NRCB.

Video Conference Inauguration of Training Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General of Horticultural Science, Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), explained the scope of entrepreneurship and highlighted the need for branding and pan-Indian marketing. ICAR will expand support for marketing under such initiatives, he said.

BK Pandey, deputy director general of ICAR, briefed attendees on the government programs available, including cold store setup and supply chain management.

S.Uma, director of the NRCB, said it was a first initiative by the center aimed at empowering transgender people economically and becoming self-employed through the cultivation and use of bananas. The training would open up a variety of options for them, she said, explaining the potential for making various banana-based products. NRCB would run more training programs for transgender people and offer incubation opportunities for the interested trainees.

S. Backiyarani, D. Ramajayam, P. Suresh Kumar and C. Karpagam, scientists, NRCB, gave the participants hands-on training on how to prepare banana blossom cucumber, central stem juice, low-fat banana chips and how to grow ornamental banana and propagate traditional banana varieties through macro-propagation. Fundraising opportunities for sustainable business projects were also discussed.

V. Kumar, Principal Scientist of the institute, explained various aspects of banana growing. Ms. Kajol thanked NRCB for hosting the training and suggested expanding the program to benefit the transgender community across the country.

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