BANANA FARMING

Banana is one of the popular and tasty fruit in the world. It is very beneficial for health. It is suitable fruit for every age of people. In this post, we will share all about banana cultivation like varieties, propagation, soil and climate, sucker selection, land preparation, planting, irrigation, fertilizer management etc.

Benefit of Banana

  • Banana is a calorie rich fruit
  • It contains sufficient quantity of Vitamins A, B-6 & C and Minerals P & Ca
  • Plantain is popular to many people as vegetable and mitigate the demand of vegetables during interim period of summer and winter seasons.

Variety

Banana varieties are divided into two groups:

Depending on uses-

  1. Dessert banana:
  2. Plantain:

Propagation

Sucker:

  • Banana is traditionally propagated through sucker
  • There are two types of sucker
  • a) Sword sucker with well developed base and narrow sword shaped leaf blade
  • b) Water sucker with broad leaves which do not produce a healthy banana clump

Tissue culture:

Micropropagation of banana has become popular in many banana growing regions. Generally shoot tip culture is practiced in case of banana.  Exploiting tissue culture techniques, profuse disease free suckers can be produced within short time.

Steps of micro-propagation

Tissue cultured and Traditional suckers

Merits of tissue cultured sucker

  • Availability of plants in large numbers within a short time
  • Establish quickly in the field
  • Lower mortality. Replanting is rarely needed after field plantation
  • Uniformity in growth and harvesting time
  • Produces heavier bunches than conventional sucker
  • Plantlets are free from nematodes, fungal and bacterial pathogens
  • Methods ensure rapid multiplication of new cultivars, horticulturally superior clones, etc. within a short period

Demerits of tissue cultured sucker

  • In vitro plant is costlier than a normal sucker
  • In vitro plants are sensitive to stress, hence they need extra attention and care after planting
  • In vitro propagation may result in off-type plants in banana due to somaclonal variation
  • There is a risk of virus transmission through in vitro plants
  • Mother plants should, therefore, be indexed with a monoclonal antibody or DNA probe test to confirm freedom from virus

Soil and climate

  • Banana can be grown in almost all types of soil provided adequate soil moisture is available
  • Deep, well drained, friable, loamy soil with adequate organic matter is ideal
  • A temperature range of 25-350C is ideal for banana production
  • An average annual rainfall of 200-205 cm evenly distributed throughout the year is considered adequate
  • Wind exerts profound influence on growth and production of banana
  • A wind velocity of 18-30 kms/h quite sufficient to split the leaf lamina. Winds at 90-100 kms/h completely destroys banana plantation

Sucker selection

  • For commercial cultivation, tissue cultured sucker should be selected.
  • Traditionally sword suckers are prepared over water sucker
  • Three two four months old sword sucker should be collected from disease to plantation
  • For dwarf varieties 35-45cm long and for tall varieties 50-60cm long suckers weighing 3-2kg are selected

Land preparation and planting

  • Pit to pit distance: 1.5-2.0m
  • Pit size 50 × 50 × 50 cm
  • Pit preparation and application of basal fertilizers should be done 15-20 days before planting
  • Irrigation is required following sucker plantation

Time of planting

  • Planting should not be done under heavy rain and very cold condition
  • October is the best time for banana plantation. Due to available moisture in the soil, the suckers establish easily. Suckers planted during October give the highest yield
  • February planting takes minimum time from planting to harvest

Fertilizer doses and application method

  • Cow dung/compost 10-15 kg, urea 500 g, TSP 400 g, MP 600 g, gypsum 200g, ZnO 1.5 g and boric acid 2.0 g per pit
  • Entire cow dung, TSP, gypsum, ZnO & boric acid and 50% MP are to be applied in pit 10-15 days before planting
  • Urea and the rest of MP are to be applied in 4 installments at 50-60 days interval starting from 60 days after planting
  • Fertilizers should be incorporated carefully to avoid root damage. Irrigation may be required after fertilizer application.

Irrigation and Drainage

  • Irrigation is required at 10-15 days interval during dry season
  • Drain out of rain water is essential during rainy season

Removal of Sucker

  • No sucker should be allowed to grow before shooting
  • For Raton crop one sucker should be allowed after shooting

Insect pest management

  1. Banana beetle
  • Adult beetle feeds on young leafs and fruits and creates spots
  • The spots become prominent and turns into brown color with the development of fruit

Remedy

  • Diazinon (@ 2ml/L), sevin (@ 2g/L) or Mipsin (@ 1g/L) – 2-3 times at 10 days interval
  • Covering of bunch with perforated transparent polythene

Disease management

  1. Panama

 Sudden yellowing of lower leafs, including leaf blades and petioles

  • The leaves hang around the pseudostem and witer
  • Longitudinal splitting of pseudostem

Remedy

  • Planting of disease free sucker
  • Removal of diseased sucker with root
  • Cultivation of resistant variety
  • Crop rotation
  • Quick drain out of excess water
  1. Sigatoka
  • Appearance of light yellowish spot on the leaves which coalesce  and kill large parts of the leaf
  • The disease reduces yield by 10-15%

Remedy

  • Cultivation of resistant variety
  • Pruning of infected leaves
  • Maintenance of proper spacing
  • Spraying of Tilt 250 EC @ 0.5ml/L 2-3 times at 15-20 days interval
  • Well drainage
  1. Bunchy top
  • It is a viral disease and is transmitted by aphid
  • The leaves are bunched together into a rosette at the top and their margins are wavy and slightly rolled upward

Remedy

  • Cultivation of resistant variety
  • Plantation of disease free sucker
  • Control of vector (Aphid) spraying insecticides (Malathion, sevin)
  • Removal and burning of infected plants with roots

      4. Nematodes

  • Pathogenic nematodes attacks on roots and facilitate entrance of fungal and bacterial diseases
  • Affected plant do not responds to fertilizer, irrigation or cultural practices
  • The plants are uprooted easily by wind

Remedy

  • Crop rotation
  • Inundation of land for 6-8 months
  • Keeping the land fallow for 10-12 months
  • Cultivation of resistant variety
  • Collection of sucker from disease free field
  • Use of tissue cultured sucker
  • Soaking of suckers in hot water (550C) for 20 minutes
  • Application of Furadan 5G (45-60 kg/ha) 3-4 times per year

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