Banana Farming – Harvesting Guide

Banana is considered a globally important fruit. On annual basis, 14.2 tonnes of banana is produced just in India. This makes India the country growing highest number of bananas. In our country, banana is the second most important fruit after mango. And Maharashtra is the largest production state of bananas. One of the cities in Maharashtra is known as Banana City because of the reason that it contributes to two-third of Maharashtra’s banana production.

Banana evolved in humid tropical regions of South East Asia and India was one of the countries that were its center of origin. Currently, banana is cultivated throughout the warm tropical regions of the world and i.e. approximately 120 countries.

Banana Farming

Health benefits of bananas – Banana Farming

Bananas are one of the best fruit sources of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 contained in bananas can be easily absorbed by your body. Also, a medium-sized banana can provide you about 1/4th of your daily vitamin B6 needs.

Importance of vitamin B6 in your body:

  • They produce red blood cells.
  • They metabolize carbohydrates and fats, and in turn, convert them into energy.
  • Metabolize amino acids.
  • They also remove unwanted chemicals present in your liver and kidneys.
  • Also helps to maintain a healthy nervous system

If pregnant women consume bananas, vitamin B6 is present in it helps to meet the baby’s development needs.

Bananas are a great source of vitamin C

It is not a known fact, and it’s difficult to associate banana with vitamin C but a medium-sized banana is able to provide you about 10% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Vitamin C is important because:

  • It protects your body against cell and tissue damage.
  • Helps the body to absorb iron better.
  • Helps your body to produce collagen – the protein which holds your skin, bones, and body together.
  • Also, it helps to support your brain health by producing serotonin, which is a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress and pain.

Bananas are good for your skin | Banana Farming

Manganese is present in bananas and one medium-sized banana provides approx. 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps your body to make collagen and protects your skin and other cells against free radical damage.

Potassium present in bananas is good for your heart health and blood pressure | Banana Farming

A medium-sized banana provides around 320- 400 mg of potassium, which fulfills your 10% of daily potassium needs.

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Bananas can help in digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues | Banana Farming

Eating a medium-sized banana can fulfill 10-12% of your daily fiber needs. According to the Singapore Health promotion board, a daily dietary fiber intake of 20 g for women and 26 g for men.

The two types of fiber i.e. soluble and insoluble play a very important role in your health. Soluble fibre helps your body to control your blood sugar level and to get rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. But insoluble fiber helps in adding weight and softness to stools, thus making it easier for you to have regular bowel movements. This helps your body to stay gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.

Banana Farming

Banana can help to beat the following gastrointestinal issues such as:

  • Constipation,
  • Stomach ulcers, and
  • Heartburn

Bananas provide a lot of energy – minus the fats and cholesterol

Bananas contain three types of natural sugars i.e. sucrose, fructose and glucose – that gives you a fat and cholesterol-free source of energy. So that is why, bananas are ideal, especially for children and athletes as breakfast or as a mid-day snack, or even before a workout or sports.

// Complete guide to grow banana crop

Climatic Conditions | Banana Farming

Banana is a tropical crop and needs warm, humid, and rainy climate. For growing banana, temperature range from 10 to 40 degree Celsius and relative humidity 80% and above is suitable for growing banana. But keep in mind that the Banana plant is sensitive towards dew and frost, and also cannot bear arid conditions. Strong and dry winds can also affect the growth of banana plant and it’s also yield and even the fruit quality.

Soil | Banana Farming

Banana is considered to be a foody or heavy feeder plant, so that is why soil fertility is really important for it. So, soil used for bananas should be rich loamy soil with a very good drainage, adequate fertility, moisture, and plenty of organic matter. But most suitable pH range is 6 to 8. But nutritionally deficient, saline solid, and very sandy soils are not suitable for banana cultivation.

Propagation of Banana Crop | Banana Farming

Banana plants cannot be propagated from seeds; Since edible bananas do not produce viable seeds, sword suckers with narrow leaves are also used for the propagation of banana suckers. The banana has a reduced underground stem, commonly known as a rhizome, and has multiple buds. Own pseudostem and new tuber rhizome, and used for propagation.

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Plantation | Banana Farming 

For planting, the selected suckers should be harvested, cutting off the roots and topsoil to remove the rotten part, if any, and then, after the necessary treatment of the suckers, planting can be done by two commonly used planting methods. i.e. pit method and furrow method. Sowing can be done in the month of February to May, and in northern India, sowing can be done in July and August and in southern India anytime except summer.

Fertilizer and manure | Banana Farming

Banana is a short-lived, fast-growing plant. Therefore, for good care, it is better to use fast-growing fertilizers. Across India, adequate nutritional needs can be met by using 20 kg FYM, 200 g N, 60 g P, 300 g K per banana. Banana plants respond very well to nutrient intake. And in the above nutrients, N is provided in three doses in the second, third and fifth months, and some changes can be made depending on the location requirement.

After Plantation Care | Banana Farming

  • Propping: In this traditional practice, the plants are adequately supported by the bamboo to prevent the plants from falling over in strong
  • Desuckering: Here unwanted suction cups that have formed near the plant base are removed by cutting
  • Wrapping or bunch cover: Too much sunlight is not good for plants To protect them from sunburn, hot wind, and dust, the cluster is covered. And this wrap or topping is also made to improve the color of the fruit.

Harvesting | Banana Farming

  • Dwarf varieties are harvested after 12 to 15 months after sowing, for tall varieties after 15 to 18 months.
  • Ripening signs are fruit abundance, completely filled corners, a slightly metallic sound when knocking and drying the upper leaves, and fruit color in light green and dark green.
  • The yield of the high varieties is approx. 1,525 t / ha and the yield of the dwarf varieties is 2,550 t / ha.