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Growing bananas in the cold

Recreating ice-age conditions allows tropical fruit to grow in record time

Setsuzo Tanaka of D&T Farm spent 40 years developing a breading technique called "the freeze-thaw awakening method."

OKAYAMA, Japan Anyone claiming they can grow tropical fruit in a cold climate, and in a fraction of the time it would normally take, would more than likely get told they were ... well, bananas.

But a new breeding method that enables the fruit to grow rapidly in cool temperatures may one day turn Japan into a banana exporter, and potentially see staple crops grown in some of the world's most inhospitable climates.

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