7. How the banana became an industrial product

A versatile, cheap and nourishing fruit, the banana is essential to India. We are its largest producer and grow the maximum varieties, with variants such as rasthali from Tamil Nadu, nendran from Kerala and safedvelchi from Maharashta. However, Cavendish, a variant pushed by multinational behemoths, is using ‘scale’ to destroy the sales of other local varieties. Vikram Doctor investigates how the industrial production of bananas in the original Banana Republics may provide some answers.