Banana Production Information Guide

Banana Production.
Banana Production.

Banana Production Information

Introduction to Banana Production

Most famous fruit crop that is grown in India is Banana.  Banana cultivation is most popular in India agriculture since decades. Banana production stands next to mango in India. Banana is popular fruit among the people, ripened banana is used as fruits and raw banana are used as a vegetable.  Bananas are not seasonal and all the types of bananas are available throughout the year. Banana plants are native to the Asian continent.

Bananas are cultivated in Hot and tropical regions, so many believe that banana is originated in India. Banana cultivation is done only in warm countries, between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S of the equator. Banana trees can be planted indoors, big containers even in backyards. For profitable banana farming, one should have good farming business plan and dedication along with hard work.

Countries Banana Grown:  Bangladesh, Caribbean Islands, Florida, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, China, Sri Lanka etc.

Pollination in Banana Production: Parthenocarpic.

Botanical /Scientific name of Banana: Musa paradisiaca.

Family of Banana: Musaceae.

Top Banana Growing States in India:

  • Tamil Nadu.
  • Gujarat.
  • Maharashtra.
  • Andhra Pradesh.
  • Karnataka.
  • Bihar.
  • Madhya Pradesh.
  • West Bengal.
  • Assam.
  • Orissa.

Banana Names in Indian Languages:

  • English :  Banana.
  • Hindi: Keda.
  • Tamil: Vazha Pazham.
  • Malayalam: Pazham / Vazha Pazham.
  • Konkani: Kellin.
  • Marathi :  Kele / Kel.
  • Oriya: Champa Kadali / Kadali.
  • Telugu: Arati Pandu.
  • Kannada: Bale Hannu.
  • Bengali: Kollaa.
  • Gujarati: Keda.
  • Punjabi: Kella / Kela.

Climate conditions and Soil fertility for Banana Cultivation:

Soil required for Banana Production:

  • Soil should be fertile and capable of holding moisture with the good organic matter.
  • Soil should be 0.51 m depth with 6.5 to 7.5 pH range.
  • Alluvial and volcanic soils are the best selection for banana cultivation. In India, Famous places where Banana cultivation is done in:
  1. Cauvery delta with has heavy clay soil.
  2. Ganga Basin where the soil is alluvial soil.
  3. Godavari Basin where the soil is black loam.
  4. Hilly areas Kerala, Tamilnadu where soils red lateritic soils.

Soils should be very fertile for banana cultivation, Depth and drainage are main considerations in selections soils for banana cultivation.

Banana Plantation.
Banana Plantation.

Suitable Climate for Banana Production:

Banana cultivation required warm and humid climate. Climatic conditions for Banana cultivation:

  • Temperature range should be 10 degrees to 40 degrees. You good yields if the temperature of 24 degrees. Cultivating banana need high humidity climate.
  • Low temperature may reduce the growth of yields. Hot winds in summer may damage the leaves.
  • The banana crop requires 1700 mm rainfall throughout the year for good crop. More rainfall and water stagnation may cause diseases.

Irrigation in Banana Production: Banana demands copious irrigation. The irrigation needs quite considerably depending on the topography, soil, climate, and variety. After the rains, both the number of irrigations and also the quantity of water should be decreased. The basin method of irrigation is most commonly adopted. In this method, water is supplied into the plants themselves rather than to the intervening spaces which do contain roots. Avoid connecting one basin with a difference during irrigation as a general precaution.

Tissue culture plants react very well to drip irrigation. Drip-irrigated plants possess more vigorous growth, resulting in early and better yield. In the case of flood irrigation, once a week irrigation is more than enough.

Banana Varieties or Types of Bananas:

Dwarf Cavendish: Dwarf Cavendish most profitable banana variety. Most popular variety of Banana grown in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat and West Bengal.

  • These varieties of bananas have thick rind with greenish color even when the fruits are ripe.
  • Average bunch weight is 6-7 hands and with about 13 fruits per hand with whole weight about 15-25 kg.
  • These plants are strong and wind resistant.
  • Gandevi selection known as ‘Hanuman’ or ‘Padarre’ are mainly used as they earn more crops inpsite longer crop duration.

Robusta:  Robusta is high yielding banana variety with large size. This variety of Bananas are grown in some regions of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

  • These bananas in bright yellow color with very sweet taste.
  • Robusta variety has large bunches, each bunch weighs 25-30kg.
  • This banana variety needs proper care leading to a quick breakdown of pulp after ripening. These bananas are not suitable for transporting.

Rasthali: These Bananas are a medium tall variety of bananas.  These are grown in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Bihar.

  • These fruits are in yellowish green but turn pale yellow after ripening.
  • These variety bananas are very tasty with a good aroma.
  • Rasthali variety of bananas have longer crop duration, severe susceptibility to Fusarium wilt, the requirement of bunch cover to protect fruits from sun cracking and formation of hard lumps in fruits make crop production more expensive.

Poovan: Most grown banana variety throughout the country, But It called in different names in different regions, palayankodan in Kerala, Poovan in Tamil Nadu, KarpuraChakkarakeli in Andhra Pradesh and Alpan in North region.

  • It is cultivated in commercially for leaf industry throughout Tamilnadu and Kerala.
  • This fruit is slightly acidic in nature and has a typical sour-sweet aroma. It has attractive yellow color on ripening.
  • Medium sized bunch, closely packed fruits, good keeping quality and resistant to fruit cracking is its plus points.

Nendran: This is a popular variety of banana in Kerala. Nendran is known to display considerable diversity in plant stature, pseudostem color, presence or absence of male axis, bunch size etc.

  • Nendran variety bananas bunch has 5 to 6 hands weighing about 12-15 kg.
  • These fruits have a distinct neck with thick green skin turning buff yellow on ripening. These bananas remain starchy even after ripening.

Reb Banana: The Most costly variety of banana grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. And some place of Bihar, Central India, and Western India.

  • The color of banana is pseudostem, petiole, midrib and fruit rind is purplish red. These fruits are sweet, orange-yellow with a sweet aroma.
  • Bunches weighs 20-30 Kg.

Ney Poovan: It is cultivating in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. It is slender plant bearing bunches of 15-30 kg after 12-14 months. These fruits are dark green turn golden yellow with very good keeping quality. Their fruits are highly fragrant, tasty, powdery and frim.

Virupakashi: Best quality of bananas grown in South India, for mainly table purpose.  It mainly grew in Palani and Shevroy hills of Tamil Nadu.

  • These fruits are vigorous and hardy variety though not a prolific one.
  • These fruits are in typical curvature, with a pleasant aroma and good taste. These are grown mainly in hilly areas.
  • It has many ecotypes like ‘Srimalai’, Vannnan, Kali etc

Pachanadan: It is popular variety grown in Tamil Nadu.  These fruits are grown in Marginal soils without any yield reduction.

  • These crops are well suited as intercrop in Coconut/arecnut gardens.
  • Bunches of these fruits range from 12-15 kgs in 11- 12 months.
  • These are mainly used in Nendran plantations for gap filling as comes up from harvest along with Nendran.

Monthan:  These bananas are cultivated for processing. These fruit plants are tall and with bunches of 18-20 Kg after 12 months. These are cultivated for leaves in Trichy and Tanjore districts of Tamil Nadu.

  • These fruits are bold, stocky, knobbed and pale green in color. Skin of its fruits is green in color.
  • Monthan type clones of economic value namely ‘KancheVazhai’ and ‘Chakkia’. These are used in Tamil Nadu.
  • Pseudostem core is highly relished vegetable with many medicinal properties.

Karupuravalli: It is popular variety grown for table purpose in medium rich soils. These are grown in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Bihar, it is cultivated under name ‘Kanthali’.

  • Karupuravalli is tall robust plant well suited to marginal lands and soils. These fruits are produced under low input conditions.
  • These are the sweetest variety of bananas in India, These seeds are planted as per seasonal variability.
  • These fruits are ash coated golden yellow and sweet fruits have good keeping quality.

Safed Velchi Musa: These are good quality bananas grown for table purpose and is cultivated in Thane, Nasik districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

  • These have medium sized with slender yellow-green pseudostem and can be recognized by reddish petiole margin, large fruits, very thin and papery rind and white firm flesh that is very sweet.
  • Bunch weight is about 12 Kg with about 150 fruits duration of harvest is 13 months.

Reproduction/Propagation in Banana Production:

Banana Orchard.
Banana Orchard.

Vegetative Method in Banana Production:

Commercial bananas are seedless and generated by vegetative means. Banana has reduced underground stem, called rhizome, with several buds. Each of these bud’s sprout and forms its own pseudostem and new bulbous rhizome.  The baby plants are called suckers, Banana is, mostly propagated by rhizomes and suckers viz sword suckers and water suckers. Sword suckers have a well-developed base with narrow sword-shaped leaf blades at the early stages. 2- 4 months ages suckers are selected for propagation.  Rhizomes are other planting materials. After cutting parent plant, these rhizomes are collected and stored in cool and dry place for about 2 months. In the resting period that left part of pseudostem at the bottom fall of, leaving prominent heart bud. The conical rhizome should be 500g -750 g. It should be 3-4 months age at planting. Very small rhizomes will give bigger size fruits with late flowering while bigger size rhizomes flower early but bear small size fruit/bunches.

Sucker and rhizomes should be selected from the healthy plants having all the desirable bunch qualities and high yielding ability possessing at least 10 hands in a bunch.

Tissue Culture  in Banana Production:

Tissue culture is mostly used these days for the propagation of banana plants.  Bananas varieties like Shrimanti, Gross Micheal, and Grand Naine are mainly used for tissue culture technique.  Healthy plantlets with 3 to 4 leaves are generally supplied in pots for raising secondary nursery. Plants are grown in the shade once they get harden they are placed in the sun. Generally, it takes 2 months of the secondary nursery is good enough before the plants to b planted in the fields pits.

How to Plant:

The specific time for planting for banana is May – June or in September – October.

  1. Poovan-Monthan-Rashthali-kali Nendran.
  • Need spacing 2.13 m x 2.13m
  • Number of Sucker Per hector 2150 and Per Acre 870.
  1. Dwarf Cavendish: Basrai-Kabuli.
  • Need Spacing 1.7m x 1.7m or 1.8 m x 1.8m.
  • Number of suckers: per hector 3550 and per acre.
  1. Robusts-Harichal.
  • Need Spacing 1.8 m x 1.8 m.
  • Number of Suckers Per hector: 3000 and per acre: 1210.
  1. Nendran:
  • Need Spacing: 1.8 m x1.8m or 2.4 m x 2.4 m.
  • Number of sucker per hector: 1700 and per acre 684.
  1. Hill Banana
  • Need spacing: 2.4 m x 3 m or 4.1 m x 3.6 m or 4.8 m x4.9 m.
  • Number of suckers per hector : 1350 and per acre 545.

For Tissue culture, plantlets are planted with spacing 1.65 x1.65. Pits are of size 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm are dug. Plantlets should be planted properly without disturbing roots. Level of soil should be maintained.

Planting Methods in Banana Production :

  • Pit Method: Pits of size 0.5 m x 0.5 x 0.5m are dug for plating rhizomes. This method needs more human resource and very expensive. The only advantage is no earthing up is required.
  • Furrow Method: this is a very common method. In this method furrows of 20-25 cm depth are opened using tractors at distance of 1.5 m and rhizomes are planted. These methods need frequent earthing up to cover exposed rhizomes.

Manuring and Fertilizers in Banana Production:

Fertilizers dosage depends upon the fertility of the soil and amount of organic manure applied to the crop. For a good yield, 50 tonnes/ha of well-decomposed farmyard manure (FYM) should be incorporated into the soil at the time of land preparation.

Pests in Banana Production:

  • Rhizome Weevil.
  • Banana Aphid.
  • Fruit and Leaf Scarring Beetle.
  • Burrowing Nematode.
  • Pseudostem Borer.

Diseases in Banana Production:

Banana are prone many diseases. The following are some of the common diseases observed in banana production.

  • Panama Wilt.
  • Leaf Spot.
  • Leaf Streak.
  • Anthacnose.
  • Cigar End Tip Rot.
  • Crown Rot.
  • Stem-end Rot.
  • Pseudostem Heart Rot.
  • Head Rot.
  • Bacterial Wilt.
  • Banana Bunchy Top Virus.
  • Banana Streak Virus.
  • Mosaic Virus.
  • Banana Bract Mosaic Virus.

For Symptoms and control measures of these diseases, talk to horticulture professional in your region.

Intercultural Operations in Banana Production:

  • Weed Control in Banana Production: Regular weeding is very important during first four months.
  • Intercropping in Banana Production: This is common in banana plantations at the early stages. Vegetables and flower crops are grown as intercrop.
  • Desuckering in Banana Production: During its lifetime banana produces many suckers from an underground stem. These should be controlled other it may affect parent plant.  Desuckering is one of the critical operation in Banana cultivation.
  • Propping in Banana Production: Pseudostems are roped with bamboo sticks during high winds. Propping operation is done area with heavy winds.
  • Leaf Removal in Banana Production: Pruning the surplus leaves may reduce the disease from spreading through old leaves. Leaf removal is done before bunch initiation delays flowering and harvesting cycle.
  • Bunch Covering in Banana Production: it is a cultural technique used by farmers where high export quality bananas are grown. This protects bunches from cold, sun and thrips. Bunch covering is common practice in India.
Banana Cultivation with Drip System.
Banana Cultivation with Drip System.

Harvesting in Banana Production

Irrigation should be stopped before the date of harvesting. It makes labor work easy to harvest. We should prepare temporary sheds near banana fields so that all the operation should be done in shade. Bunches selected should in green, ¾th ripe, whole, from rubbing, scratching, bruises, sunburns or other blemishes. The helper should hold the bunches and place properly on the fresh cut leaves spread on the ground. For carrying bunches to packing shed it is necessary that after 15 minutes of harvest when the latex flow ceased, bunches should take two at times without contacting soil. Bunches are marked with date and month in some countries.

Yield in Banana Production

Yield of the banana orchard depends on soil, planting method, season, irrigation, variety and other cultivation practices. The cost of banana farming and profits in banana farming also depends on the same factors mentioned.

Read about Papaya Growing.

Read about Guava Cultivation.


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