Tamil Nadu has started the export of long-shelf, high-quality bananas to Europe. Developed with an Italian technology, the first batch of the \u2018Grand Naine\u2019 range of bananas will be exported to Italy and subsequently to other countries in Europe. In continuation of the success of quality banana production, with financial support by Port of Trieste, Italy, a unique post harvest-handling system called \u2018Cable Way Conveyor\u2019 was developed by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation. The Cable Way Conveyor will facilitate reduction of the post-harvest loss in handling the banana bunches from the farm to pack-houses, and also avoids human handling and physical drudgery. It is suitable for use in large farms and also for the collective small holdings in transporting the farm inputs as well as the produce. It paves the way for opening up professional banana export from Tamil Nadu and explores business opportunities for India-grown banana varieties such as Grand Naine, Red banana, Ney Poovan and Nendran to the European continent, said a state government press release here on Wednesday. This attempt is the first of its kind from India to Europe for the banana crop. As a part of this pioneering attempt, a Cable Way Conveyor was fabricated and erected in an identified farm at Kudalore of Theni district, and banana bunches were harvested and transported by the conveyor to farm-laid pack-houses; about 400 kg of samples were sent by air shipment to the University of Udine, Italy, on an experimental basis and positive results were received of superior shelf life compared with the conventional harvest. In continuation of this, during September 2018, to learn the essential practice of pre- and post-harvest requirement for long-duration sea voyage, a Static Inland Simulation Trial was conducted at Chennai by keeping a container fully stuffed with banana-packed pallets under climate-controlled atmosphere for three weeks, under the supervision of National Research Centre for Banana, partnering with shipping liner MAERSK and Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation. Subsequently, the first trial shipment for Italy has been now kept ready along with the requisite post harvest protocol, for trans-shipping the Grand Naine variety of banana harvested from Theni district. This container is to depart from Cochin port by Thursday on a 24-day sea voyage to reach Port of Trieste.