Botanical Name: Musa acuminate
Suitable Varieties: Grand Naine, Dwarf Cavendish, Williams and Local varieties
Areas suitable for production:
Forest zones of Western, Central, Eastern, Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti, and Volta Regions with rainfall of more than 1200-1500 mm/yr evenly distributed. Soils with pH of 6-7.5 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) are desirable. Temperature of 18-42oC are required for promoting flowering and fruit set. Avoid land with wild or dead banana plants as it serves as source of disease and pest infection.
Windbreak: Bananas are very vulnerable to strong winds. To prevent logging/topping, establish windbreaks at the windy sides of the field before planting.
Drainage Channels: Construct drainage channels to drain excess water where necessary; and a farm pond to collect excess water to be re-used for irrigation if there is no danger of spreading diseases.
Land Preparation: A thorough land preparation is necessary for early crop establishment and adequate weed control. Slash, remove stumps and stones, where necessary and spread debris in between planting rows; avoid burning of debris as they will serve as mulch and conserve moisture.
Propagation: Sword and maiden suckers are most suited for propagation. The best planting material are large suckers up to 1m high and at least 15cm across. Large and uniform quantities of planting material may be generated from the split corm and bud manipulation techniques.
Par the suckers by dipping them into hot water at 55°C for 20 minutes before planting. Alternatively sun-dry split corm for 48 hrs. This will remove substantial amounts of soil borne pathogens from the planting material.
Planting: To hasten establishment, plant at the onset of rains. Line and peg planting distances at 2-4 m2/equilateral markings. Dig holes (about 30cm deep and 30cm wide), half fill each with 3kg well decomposed manure and plant one sucker/hole. Fill up with top soil and firm.
Note: Suckers planted in holes shallower than the corms are more likely to be uprooted/ toppled by strong winds.
Fertilizer application: In addition to the organic manure apply the following:
|Nutrient type||Source||Amt/hill||No. of splits/yr|
|N||Urea/DAP||300g||75g x 4|
|P||TSP/SP||250g||125g x 2|
|K||MOP (KCL)||250g||62.5g x 4|
De-suckering: To get healthier plants and bigger bunch sizes and limit disease pressure remove all but two strong secondary suckers (shoots) before flowering. All the suckers should be cut off at ground level and scooping the center then covering with soil to prevent the sucker from growing back.
Weed Control: Manual weeding may be required monthly during the first three months after planting. Subsequently, 2-3 monthly interval weeding is recommended. Appropriate weedicide (glyphosate) may be used to control weeds.
Propping: Prop plants during fruiting stage with ‘Y’-shape bamboo/support, or twines to prevent toppling under the weight of the fruit or uprooting by winds.
Bunch protection: Cover bunches with blue plastic bags to protect fruits from insects, bats, squirrels, etc. Tie the bag with soft twine 60cm from the first hand. Remove any leaves that touch or damage the bunch and relocate plant supports. The blue plastic bags create a suitable micro-environment for fruit development.
Removal of Male Flowers: Cut off male buds when peduncles are at least 15cm below the last female hand or when the fingers on clusters just turn upwards.
Note: Break off all tiny hands and leave one finger below the last hand.
Pest and Disease Control:
Nematodes: The tiny worms make red brown tunnels in the banana roots and corm.
Management: After trimming the suckers put the planting material in hot water at 55°C for 20 minutes, dry in the sun, then plant straight away. Treat planting material with EPA approved nematicides to kill nematodes.
Banana scab moth (Nacoleia octasema): The larvae feed on the surface of developing fruits fingers and progress down the maturing bunch as the bracts lift and fall.
Management: Clear any dead plant material around the plant base.
Banana weevil and borer: weevil damage results from larvae feeding and tunneling into banana corms and pseudo stem reducing bunch weight or snapping of banana plants.
Management: Use clean planting material. Immerse corms into hot water at 52-55°C for 20 minutes or dip in EPA approved insecticides following manufacturer’s recommendation. Practice strict farm sanitation.
Fusarium oxysporum: Infects the tunnels causing root rot or blackhead disease. The roots rot and weaken the plant which may then topple over in strong winds after the heavy fruit bunches have formed.
Leaf Spots: Black Sigatoka, Sigatoka Leaf Spot and Black Leaf Streak diseases are caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis and M. musicola. Sigotoka disease starts as yellow streaks that darken to form elliptical brown spots and spreads gradually till it kills the whole leaf. The disease spreads rapidly if farm sanitation is poor. They cause the bananas to produce less fruit by destroying the leaves.
Management: Good nutrient management and strict farm sanitation helps plants withstand diseases. Infected leaves with more than 50%of leaf are blackened should be pruned off and burned to minimize disease spread.
Harvesting: Harvest bunches 3-5 months after flowering when the fruits are full and the angles rounded out. To harvest, nick the pseudo stem with cutlass and lower the bunch. Then catch and cut it off gently to prevent damage to the fruits. Cut the harvested pseudo stem to 1m above ground level and care for the follower crop in the same way as for the first generation crop.
Production Cycle: Bananas mature 9-11 months after planting depending on the variety. Farms can remain in commercial production for up to ten years after which they must be replanted.
|Activity/Input (Year 1)||Cost (GHc)|
Estimated total cost
Estimated total cost
Estimated total cost
Average yield per bunch (kg) = 7
(Average weight per bunch increases after first cycle)
Numbers of bunches to be harvested = 2000
Percentage losses at 5%
95/100 x 200 = 1900
Farm gate price/bunch = GHc5
Income = (5x 1900) = GHc 9500
Net income = 9500-7250.00
= GHc 2250.00 Yr 1
Horticulture development unit
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For further information
Contact the nearest MOFA office or HDU