The Chengalikodan Banana, a type of plantain found and grown in Kerala was recently accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) by the Geographical Indication registry, Chennai. The geographical indication or the GI is a sign or name that indicates that a particular product originates from a specific location. The qualities of that product are usually attributed to the place of origin.
This delectable fruit is known for its distinct taste and golden yellow fruits with fiery red patches. The Chengalikodan originates from Chengazhikode (and hence the name) of Thrissur District in Kerala,India. Also known as the Chengazhikode Banana, this is used as ‘Kazhchakula’ in Guruvayur Temple.
The Chengalikodan Banana is cultivated in places like Velloor, Thekkaparambu, Aallur, Minalloor, Vadakkancheri, Mullukkara, Guruvayur, Choondal, Kunnamkulam, Nelluvay, Nadathara, Aamballur, etc. Although a lot of different varieties of Nendra Banana are available in the Kerala market, the Chengalikodan holds a special place due to its unique taste and aesthetic appeal. This plantain is also extensively used during the Onam festival of Kerala. The Chengalikodan is also used to prepare a variety of dishes and snacks.
The crop duration is 11-13 months. The plant should be grown in an open field. The planting season should be adjusted according to the weather. Avoid heavy rain or severe summers. Select suckers that are 3½ months old from clumps. The pit should be of dimension 50×50×50 cm. The plants should have a spacing of at least 2 m between them. When watering, make sure there is no water-logging. Provide god drainage for this. During summer, irrigation should be done once in three days. But during initial days, the plants should be watered everyday. Once the fruits start appearing, they should be immediately wrapped in dry banana leafs. This will ensure that the fruits grow to a healthy, beautiful size.