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Banana cultivation Presented By Shashank P. Datey (S.M.S. Horti.)
Banana B.N.- Musa paradisiaca Family-Musaceae Species-50
There are about 300 cultivars out of which following are important
Climate and soil
The major banana-growing areas of the world are geographically situated between the equator and latitudes 200 North and 200 South. Conditions in this area are mainly tropical, with temperature fluctuations from day to night and from summer to winter being comparatively small Banana is essentially a humid tropical plant, coming up well in regions with a temperature range of 10° C to 40° C and an average of 23° C. In cooler climate the duration is extended, sucker production is affected and bunches are smaller. The growth of the banana plant responds quickly, within a matter of an hour or two to changes in air temperature. All growth ceases as soon as the temperature of the surrounding air falls below 11° C. As long as the temperature remains 11° C, no growth whatsoever takes place. As the air temperature rises above 11° C growth starts and the growth rate increases gradually at first, and then with rising temperatures, more and more rapidly. The biggest increase in growth rate for every degree that the temperature rise appears to lie between approximately 19° C and 23° C. The daily growth at 23° C is, in fact, about double that at 19° C. With further rise in temperature, the growth continues to increase, but more and more slowly as high levels of temperature are reached. In the experiments conducted, no falling off or even leveling off of the growth rate was observed,. Banana is cultivated under different conditions in India.
Temperature, Rainfall and Latitude details of banana growing states in India.
State Latitude ° NTemp° C Region Rainfall (Cm) Andhra Pradesh 16-18 16-43 Coastal 100 Telangana 81 Rayalaseema 68 Assam 25-27 16-38 252 Bihar 22-25 10-46 137 Karnataka 14-28 13-18 Coastal 326 South 124 North 69 Kerala 10-14 16-38 301 Maharashtra 19-22 13-41 92 Tamil Nadu 10-12 16-41 102 Uttar Pradesh 25-28 7-43 East 102 West 96
Bananas can be grown from sea level to an altitude of 1200 metres. The 'hill bananas' of Tamil Nadu are raised between elevations of 500 to 1500 metres mostly under rainfed conditions. The wind prone areas cause devastating damage to the banana plantations by toppling down the plants due to pseudostem breakage. Similarly, bananas cannot withstand frost to any extent. So, at higher elevations the low temperatures prevailing cause delayed cropping and slow growth. In coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu the cyclonic wind damages the plantations. Hence it is advisable to select areas where mean temperature is around 25-30° C with a mean annual rainfall of 100 mm per month.
Effects of low Winter temperatures The problems which result in a banana plantation from low winter temperatures serve to only emphasize the importance of adequate heat as a factor, in banana production. The most important of these are 'choke throat' 'November dump' and frost damage. Low winter temperatures greatly reduce vegetative growth of the banana plant. During the coldest months, the leaf emergence and number of leaves produced are affected.
Choke throat Bunch bursting through pseudostem Low winter temperatures greatly reduce vegetative growth of the banana plant. During the coldest months, the leaf emergence and number of leaves produced are affected. The top hands become trapped in the throat of the plant The elongation of the leaf internodes is reduced. This reduction in length of the internodes causes a constriction at the throat of the plant and combined with the correspondingly reduced elongation of the internodes of the bunch stem, makes it difficult for the bunch to emerge through the throat. This condition is referred to as 'choke throat' and the trapped bunches which are exposed to the sun are also called "sun lookers". This is a major problem with Dwarf Cavendish. Flowering during the winter period can result in considerable losses, especially during colder years. Severely chocked bunches should be cut down to let the follower develop faster. November dump Cold temperatures also have a marked effect on bunch development. When the flower initiation occurs during the winter, a characteristically a peculiar bunch can be expected. The November dump bunch is small and composed of hands of uneven size and often deformed fruits. The smaller fingers on the hands are, in many cases, fuller at the flower end and thinner at the stalk end. The flower end is often black, rough and cracked and during a good rainy season, fungal diseases further damage these fruits. Another common symptom is the cone-shaped protuberance at the flower end. This protuberance is pale green in colour. The amount of misshapen fruit as November-emerging bunches varies from year to year. It must be stressed that November dump symptoms are caused by cold temperatures and they are not mineral deficiency or drought symptoms. A good orchard practice is to cut down all the plants producing severe
Banana comes up in relatively wide range of soil conditions. Two important factors to be looked into are the soil depth and drainage. Soils of atleast 50 cm depth, well drained, fertile lands are necessary for banana cropping. Soils of Banana growing states in India StateSoil Type MaharashtraCoastal Areas Plains Sandy soilBlack cotton soil Tamil Nadu Cauveri DeltaHill slopes Clay soil; AlluvialLoamy type Central IndiaGangetic delta Alluvial soil Andhra Pradesh Alluvial, clay KeralaCoastal areaPlain & Low hill slope Sandy loam tractRed laterite Bananas can grow well in slightly alkaline soils, but saline soils with salinity exceeding 0.05 per cent are unsuitable. In alkaline soil wilt disease is less prevalent. The physical condition of soils on which bananas are cultivated is very important, since root development is determined chiefly by the degree of aeration of the soil. In poorly aerated soils, that is soils which have compacted as a result of poor structure, or badly drained soils which are over irrigated, there is a marked decrease in root development.
Season of Planting
The season of planting of banana varies between the various states. In most parts the colder seasons of the year are unsuitable for planting. In West Coast, planting is done from September to November, when irrigation facilities are available. Planting is done all the year round in order to secure better prices during the off season. In other areas planting is done during South west monsoon in May-June, and continues thereafter till November. Bontha and Mauritius and for Poovan the best time is November to January because it has a longer duration. Planting in cold season is a problem and great care is to be given for irrigating the crop in summer and also it exposes the plants to high winds or cyclone damage during bunch season. In Kerala, where Nendrans are cultivated as pure crop planting is done in September-October. On the Lower Palneys, including Sirumalai April planting is preferred. February-March is the best planting season in wet lands along the Cauvery bank as in Trichy. But in the perennial plantations in Tanjore, planting is done from January to June. October-November is considered to be the best time. They suggested that the rapid progress of plant growth during the four months of the monsoon is particularly helpful in plants in building up their growth and establishing themselves in advance of the setting of cold weather in November, when growth is retarted. The best time for planting in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa is by the end of the June and in West Bengal, Bihar and Assam planting could be done at any time during the South West monsoon, when the rains are not too heavy. The planting should not be taken up during very cold and very hot months. Similarly, that planting season should be so adjusted that during the period of high winds, banana should not be in flower or near flowering stage. The period of planting should be so adjusted that active growth phase of the plants can continue unhampered during flower bud initiation stage. In view of the divergence of climatic and soil conditions in our country, bananas are grown all through the year, while the peak seasons vary in different parts of the country. Different planting seasons adopted in different states are given below. Bananas planted in March/April made better growth and gave higher yields than those
planted upto December. Flowering occurred in less than 300 days after planting in March/April. Growth and flower bud differentiation and fruit development were adversely affected, when the average temperature was below 750 F. Sprouting of rhizomes was inhibited when the monthly average maximum temperature went above 980 F. Six months old rhizomes were better planting material than two month old rhizomes. Fruits from rhizomes planted in April took two weeks longer for development than those planted in May
Planting Materials The nature of banana plant has made it imperative that reproduction be accomplished by vegetative means, since most commercially grown bananas are vegetatively parthenocarpic and effectively seed sterile. There are certain problems in propagation of banana plant. Planting materials (Sucker) are more bulkier and difficult for transport Proper identification of clones in younger stages may not be possible Rapid multiplication methods are required to produce more plants from an achieved hybrid Disease free and disease resistance seed materials have to be produced. Besides the above, there are factors like soil, climate, temperature, manuring, size age, type etc., which may adversely affect the propagation of the plants. Sword suckers having strong base, gradually tappering to a slender point with one or two narrow sword like leaves at the tip are preferred for planting, since it grows faster and comes to bearing early compared to water suckers. Suckers from high yielding and healthy plant crop are selected. The suckers are cleared of old roots over the corm, and can be stored in a cool dry place under shade of a tree for a week. Planting Distance Plant population per unit area depends on cultivar, topography, soil fertility, various aspects of management and duration of plantation etc. In general, tall cultivators are given wider spacing than the dwarf ones. High density planting may be practiced in mono-crop culture, while wider spacing is advocated for ratoon crop. Tall cultivars 9 feet x 10 feet Dwarf cultivars 6 feet x 6 feet
Cultivar Recommended spacing
Robusta 1.0 x 2.0 m Jahaji of Assam 1.2 x 2.0 m Nendran 1.2 x 1.5 m Dwarf cavendish 1.5 x 1.5 m Karpura chakrakeli 2.0 x 2.0 m Pedda pacha arati 1.8 x 1.8 m Vamanakeli 1.4 x 1.4 For intercropping 3 x 1.5 m
A density of 4,500 plants/ha is practiced in Maharashtra and Gujarat The palnt to palnt distance is 1.2 m , row to row ddistance is 1.5 m and between row to row is 2.0 m . considering the per hactare yield , net returns and quality of fruit spacing of 1.5 X 1.5 m corresponding to a plant population of 4,444 /ha was found to be optimum. The maximum profit in Dwarf Cavendish banana when spaced at 2m x 2m or 2.5m x 2.5 m. Closer spacing also produced higher yield of fruits. From a trial with Robusta banana spaced at 2.4 m x 1.8 m and 2.4 m x 2.4m, the highest yield was obtained with a spacing 2.4 m x 1.8m. Though there was higher yield in high density planting, the growth was found to be slower and shooting was delayed. Finger tip disease was severe in close planting. In high density plantation nearly 30 percent of the plants could not be harvested in time
Preparing Suckers And Planting Material
If any damage is noticed to the corm of the sucker at the time of seperation of the suckers from the mother plant, the damaged portion of the corm may be clearly sliced off. The top portion of the pseudostem of the suckers may be gven a slant cut leaving six to nine inches psuedostem over the corm. This will fecilitate easy draining of plant sap, rainn water, leading to successful establishment of the suckers. But in coastal Andhra Pradesh the top portion of the sucker is retained while planting and deheaded to 2/3 size in about 20 days when growth is visible to maintain uniform height of the plantation. All the old roots of the rhizome should also be trimmed. The suckers thus prepared should be dipped in 0.1% Ceresan at the rate of 1g in one litre solution for five minutes and then planted. In areas of endemic for banana stem weevil, they should also be treated with 0.1% metasystox solution Only flat lands or lightly slopy lands can be selected for planting of banana. When banana is grown on hill slopes, soil conservation methods like bench terracing or contour bunding based on the gradient have to be necessarly adopted. Banana suckers should not be planted either too deep or too shallow. The suckers must be planted in the centre of the pit in such a way that the corm and another two inches of the pseudostem over it should submerge in the soil. Press the soil arround the sucker to avoid air spaces, to give firm stand to the stem and for better sprouting of the suckers. Suckers must be grouped according to their size and then planted.
Generally the banana suckers strikes roots within 10-15 days after planting, even after 15 days if there are no roots to the planted suckers it means it has died. Inspite of all precautions taken, some suckers may fail to sprout. This may be due to defective planting or defective plant material or defective irrigation. So, one should go around after 15 days in banana gardens and search for the causalities. All such causalities should immediately be gap filled with fresh sword suckers. Maintaining optimum population for unit area always leads to higher yields. So all gaps in the banana plantation must be filled with fresh suckers with in 20 days. This will also ensure fair uniformity in the stand of the crop.
Rapid multiplication of banana suckers has been engaging the attention of scientists since a very long time. There is a problem when a new clone is being generated for extended cultivation or when a large amount of planting material of a specific pathogen tolerant clone is to be distributed to the growers. The prevalence of disease problems and the need for generating clean planting stock in large quantities have stimulated recently a surge of interest in the production of banana clones raised though aseptic micropropagation techniques. Shoot tips isolated from the rhizomes were found suitable for platelet production in vitro. Shoot tips with several older sheathing leaf bases enclosing the axillary buds regenerated multiple pantalets. Individual shootlet when separated and subcultured, produced a new crop of multiple shoots. Each plant cell has the potential to generate into a single plant. This is called Totipotency and when this character is involved into rapid and mass multiplication of propagules at optimum levels is called Micropropagation. This is an alternate to slow vegetative plant propagation. In Tissue Culture when a group of undifferentiated and meristamatically active cell called tissue is aseptically disserted out and put into a medium containing nutrient and incubated under conducive controlled conditions of light and temperature, it establish it self and starts growth. This is called Culture and the concept of 'tissue culture'.
Tissue culture involved following stages Preparation of Stock plant
The elite plants are selected and maintained under hygenic conditions (by spraying fungicide, bactericide and insecticide) and then the plant parts are taken for initiation. Initiation (Stage-I) The innermost tissue of surface sterilised plant in dissected aseptically and put an to the medium of growth, Medium contains major and miner elements, same vitamins. Amino acids and growth promoting hormones, solidified by agar.
Shooting and Rooting (Stage III) Root Organogenesis After multiplication, the single shoots are separated and placed into a shooting are rooting medium. At this stage the hormones may or may not be required. The shoot elongates and new root came up. Rooting takes place within 3-4 weeks.
Hardening (Stage IV) Complete Plantlet It involves acclimatisation of bottle grown plants to the natural environment in Green House. The plants are taken out of the bottle and the media adhering to the root system in washed fully. Complete Plantlet After wards the plants are graded as per their size and then transferred singly to wells of portrays containing sterile medium (a mixture of peat moss and perlite).
The whole portray with plants is maintained under high humidity conditions for a couple of weeks and there after the portrays are kept in open in the Green House under controlled temperature and humidity. This hardening taken 6 weeks and is called primary hardening - Regular sprays of plant protection chemicals are sprayed to achieve good hygenic condition of the plants. Established Plantlet Introduction Banana root system spreads in the top 60 cm soil. Being an exhaustive crop, proper manuring and fertilizer application has to be resorted to in obtaining good yields. The choice of fertilizers, the dosage of nutrients, time of application etc. varies widely with respect to agroclimatic regions and varieties. The effects of proper fertilization of banana are increase of the crop yield by the improvement of grading, or of weight of bunch, reduction in crop duration increasing the number of marketable good quality bunches per hectare, and Improvement in quality, with physical and chemical characters leading to high return to farmers.
N (g)P2O5 (g)
FYM (Kg/pl)(per plant)
Andaman & Nicobar Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh
2x2 2x2 2x2
160 200 180
160 200 100
280 200 225
Nitrogen Nitrogen is the chief promoter of growth. It induces the vegetative growth of pseudo stem and leaves giving them desired healthy green colour. A healthy robust vegetative frame is an essential pre-requisite for high yields and nitrogen is mainly responsible for such a vegetative frame. Banana plants which have not received N produce only seven leaves against 17 leaves produced by banana plants supplied with adequate N. If N is deficient in bananas the leaves take 23 days for unfolding against 10 days for the leaves of banana supplied with N. It was observed that greater the number of healthy and large leaves produced during the first 4-6 months, larger will be the size of fruit bunch, N influences the longitudinal growth of petioles. Nitrogen increases the bunch grade, and sucker production. Nitrogen deficiency causes slow growth and paler leaves with reduced leaf area and rate of leaf production. Leaf petioles short, thin and compressed, thin profuse roots and lesser number of suckers are produced due to lack of N. Phosphorus uptake is higher due to N deficiency. Nitrogen fertilization State wise fertilizer recommendations for banana Mode of application of nitrogen Nitrogen should be applied in five split doses. Nitrogen is to be applied in five split doses one at the time of planting ² 2nd 45 days after planting (DAP) ² 3rd - 90 DAP ² 4th - 135 DAP ² 5th - 180 DAP For banana if 25 % nitrogen is applied in organic farm and remaining amount is applied through inorganic fertilizers that increases the yield. Application of 1 kilo neem cake as a inorganic nitrogen source for banana not only increases the yield and quality but also reduces the nematode problem considerably. Application of nitrogen at flowering and fruiting stage not only stops the leaf dropping but also increases the weight of the bunch. State Spacing (m)N (g)P2O5 (g)K2O (g)FYM (Kg/pl)
Phosphorous Phosphorus helps to produce healthy rhizome and a strong root system. It also influences flower setting and general vegetative growth. The deficiency of P causes complete cessation of elongation, at a height of about two feet rosetting of leaves with older leaves becoming increasingly irregularly necrotic, leaf production is reduced, and marginal chlorosis and premature death are caused. Dose :40-60 g/plant Entire quantity of phosphorus fertiliser should be applied at the time of last ploughing or applied at the time of filling the pits. Potassium Stimulates early shooting and significantly shortens the time required for fruit maturity. It improves bunch grade, and size of fingers. The quality of the fruits is also improved by potassium. Deficiency of potassium causes marked reduction in growth, interval between the production of new leaves become longer and leaves are profusely smaller, premature yellowing of plant. Once the potassium contained in the storage organs is exhausted, deficiency symptoms appear suddenly starting with a yellowing of the tips and distal margins of older leaves, closely followed by necrosis and dessication The yellowing and necrosis spread rapidly in a proximal direction until the whole leaf has withered standing in a normal position. Fruits are badly shaped, poorly filled and unsuitable for marketing. Splits develop parallel to the secondary veins and the lamina folds downwards, while the midrib bends and fractures, leaving the distal half of the leaf hanging. Purplish brown patches appear at the base of the petioles and in severe cases the centre of the corm may show areas of brown, water soaked disintegrated cell structures. Dose : 200-300 g/plant Mode of application of potassium Potassium should be applied in split doses. Potassium is to be applied in five split doses one at the time of planting
² ² ² 2nd 45 days after planting (DAP) 3rd - 90 DAP 4th - 135 DAP
5th - 180 DAP
Micronutrients Zinc Zinc deficiency is found in banana when it grows in zinc deficient soils. Narrow pointed and chlorite young leaves,Bunch top crowns are the symptoms of zinc deficiency Application of 50 g/plant zinc sulphate at the time of planting is recommended or foliar application of zinc sulphate at 3 g/litre + urea (5g per litre) + 10 ml non ionic sticker in 20 litres of water. The above prepared solution is sprayed at 45 and 60 days after planting. For ratoon crop 45 days after cutting the mother plant. Boron Deficincy of boron may results in reduction in weight and size of the bunch and it will effects the proper filling of the bunch. For boran deficiency apply 20 g borax per litre at the time of planting of spray boric acid at 0.2 % in 4th of 5th month after planting. Iron Iron deficiency has been recorded in alkaline soils and is identified by interveinal chlorosis of young leaves. Application of iron sulphate will correct the iron deficiency. Magnesium Magnesium deficiency symptoms show green banding around the margin and next to the midrib. Spraying magnesium sulphate 2 g/l of water effectively corrects the deficiency.
Irrigation Water requirement of banana varies according to topography, soil, climate, cultivar and type of culture. If there is no rain, the plants should be irrigated immediately after planting. The soil in banana plantation should not be allowed to dry completely Bananas are grown both as a rainfed crop and as an irrigated crop in India. Wherever the adequate rainfall is not available, banana growers resort to supplement it with irrigation. Proper water management is essential for obtaining good yields in commercial banana. In olden days, bananas were irrigated by using flooding system or basin irrigation system wherein, depending upon the moisture retention capacity of the soil, irrigation is scheduled as once in 3 days, twice in a week, once in a week likewise. Banana being a mesophyte, requires a huge amount of water because of the large foliage area and moisture content of the pseudostem. The consumptive use of water increased with increase in the available soil moisture level. The total water requirement varied from 1841 mm to 2150 mm for the various conditions. The per day consumption of water varied from 4.81 to 6.11 mm. The daily water consumption was greater at higher moisture regimes. The total number of irrigation ranged from 22 to 78 for the various treatments. Maintenance of high soil moisture level required frequent irrigation with less quantity of water per irrigation, whereas, the low moisture regimes required less number of irrigations with more quantity of water for each irrigation. Maintenance of a high soil moisture range between 60 and 80 per cent of available soil moisture may be considered optimum for economic production of banana. The height and girth of the pseudostem, total leaf area and number of leaves per plant at shooting increased significantly with increase in available soil moisture level. The phylachron (the time interval between the production of successive leaves) was high under dry conditions. Sucker production was not significantly influenced by the various treatments. The bunch weight and the characters associated with it were significantly increased with increasing soil moisture availability. Total soluble solids, reducing sugars, total sugars and acidity of fruits increased significantly with dry soil conditions. Irrigation at 20 per cent depletion of available soil moisture significantly advanced the shooting. The shooting to harvest interval was shortened with frequent irrigations. The total crop duration was extended with decreasing moisture availability. The density of roots of banana palms subjected to different irrigation levels revealed that the mass of roots was not much affected by moisture stress, though a slight increase in number of roots was observed with higher moisture stress. The dry weight of roots increased with decrease in the available soil moisture which may be the result of increased number of root production and total root length.
Irrigation Schedule Irrigate the plants immediately after planting. After that irrigate at weekly intervels for about 35-40 times. Rainfall requiement for banana growing areas should be 1500-2000 mm. In summer irrigate for every 5-10 days depending up on the type of soil. Irrigation through drip system will induce early bunch formation and arround 40-45% water can be saved. Drip system has to be operated daily for 2-3 1/2 hours. Delay in irrigation for banana results in delay in bunch formation, delay in maturity of bunch
Intercultural Operation Weeding Weeds are a menace in any cropping system. In a crop like banana, where the entire crop depends on the surface soil for its nutrition and water requirements, weed of any sort will be of deleterious effect to the crop. The weeds compete with the main crop for nutrients and moisture. They at times also harbour pests of banana. The luxurious weed growth in any banana fields will reduce the yield by way of reduction of bunch weight, grade of bunches, etc. Hence in banana plantations, periodical weeding is taken up to have a clean cultivation. Weeding is done either through a light digging of surface soil, by mulching or by manual weeding. Presently, in commercial banana gardens, weedicides, are also used extensively to control the weeds. One Dalapon and Eleven Paraquat sprays controlled weed effectively in banana plot. Pre-emergence application of Diuron at 4kg a.i/ha was effective in checking both monocot and dicot weed growth. Diuron treatment did not reduce banana quality. Among the post-emergence sprays, the combination of Diuron and Gramaxone at 4 kg/ha and 1.5 l/ha gave good control of weed population.
Desuckering Bananas are vegetatively propagated through the suckers, which are produced from the auxiliary buds of the underground rhizome, once the plant crop attains maturation. The suckers produced by different varieties vary in number. The time of sucker production by parent plant is that more than half the number of total suckers produced by a plant is produced since flowering of the mother plant. Some suckers are produced three or four months before flowering also. In a pure crop of banana, where single crop is only taken, usually all the suckers, which arise before flowering are removed as it will compete with mother plant for nutrients resulting in reduction of bunch size. Hence suckers which are produced by the plant in excess, or out of place are removed periodically to ensure better growth and bunch development of mother plant. This is an important operation in growing of bananas. In perennial system of banana culture, the 'setting of followers' at proper time will ensure good ratoon crop to the banana growers. In Tamil Nadu, it is a practice to pour kerosene into cavity left after digging the suckers. In case of hill bananas, unwanted suckers are removed after heading off and killing them by pouring kerosene (5-10 ml per sucker) over the cut surface of the sucker. While using kerosene, it should be avoided to treat suckers, which arise on the corm above ground level and have no root system. These suckers are entirely dependent on the parent plant and the kerosene may move back into the sap stream and injure it. The best method of handling these suckers is to cut off level with the parent corm. Desuckering of bananas by using chemicals like, 2, 4-D is also found to be in use. A pruning paste consisting of a mixture of 2, 4-D, fuel oil and grease may also be applied for desuckering
Setting of followers for ratooning Removal of all suckers upto flowering of the plant and maintaining only one follower afterwards is the best desuckering practice. Ordinarily daughter sucker commences to appear from the base of the plants from about the third month of planting, but in suckers carelessly removed as to include large slices of rhizomes, some buds may shoot up to form new suckers even earlier than above period. Removal of male bud The part of the inflorescence which consists of male flowers only, is invariably termed in different parts of the world as male bud, heart, or Navel. This has apparently no comprehensible function or value in the normal bunch formation or development. Therefore, the male bud is more often pruned off in many places, where intensive and efficient cultivation is practiced, obviously with the belief that the removal of unwanted growth may favour better bunch development. In one of the commercial variety Karpura Chakkrakeli Male bud was removed (12-15 days after shooting) soon after the completion of bunch formation, leaving a 5cm length of a barren axis. It was found that pruning the male bud had resulted in some increase in both the length and circumference of the fruit. In respect of mean duration from shooting to maturity, there was reduction of light days in the pruned plants. In the case of yield also, there was a significant increase of 0.9kg in the mean bunch weight of pruned plants which worked out to 7.5 per cent increase in yield. Other advantages in pruning the male bud include extra monetary returns by sale of male buds which are used as vegetable. It was observed that the banana thrips which attack the fruit and cause unsightly brown freckling on the fruit, live and breed in the male buds in large numbers. When the bunches are nucleus foci for further infection. The removal of the male buds obviously results in less damage from this pest. In Dwarf Cavendish whenever the male bud was allowed to grow, it delayed the harvest by 18 days. The bunches in which male bud was removed, were heavier by three kilograms over the un removed plants
Propping of Banana plants One of the important problems facing banana growers is the lodging of plants with mature or immature bunches during heavy winds and cyclones. The plants are uprooted or broken at the middle resulting in heavy losses to the growers. Plant supported with bamboos To overcome this problem, the plants have to be propped with bamboos or caesarian poles. Single props are given. The top of the prop is placed against the throat of the plant, under the curvature of the bunch stem. It is important that the prop itself is clear of the bunch to prevent fruit injury. Double props consist of two poles of equal length and tied together. The legs are spread to form a V at the top, in which the bunch stem is held.
Trimming of leaves and care of Banana bunches Leaf trimming is an important operation for controlling certain leaf diseases and for promoting light penetration. Trimming is the removal of the dead leaves that hang down the sides of the pseudostem. It is very important that only the dead and diseased leaves are cut and removed and not the still green leaves that often hang down the side of the pseudostem. By removing those green leaves, the photosynthetic area is reduced and the final bunch size is affected. Leaf removal may be done throughout the growing season. By keeping the plantation clean, more light and heat are available for promoting plant growth. Further advantages of removing dead and dried leaves are that the potential dangers of fruit injury and disease infection are reduced. Bunch covering Bagging is a cultural technique used by planters in the French West Indies, Latin America, Africa, Australia, etc., particularly, where export bananas are grown. The main purposes are the protection of bunches against cold, sun scorching, against attack of thrips and scarring beetle. It also improves certain visual qualities of the fruits. Bunch covering with dry leaves is a common practice in India, which, however, may be a source of inoculum for post harvest diseases. Earthing up Earthing up should be done during the rainy season to provide drainage, and to avoid waterlogging at the base. During summer and winter, the plants should be in furrow and on ridges during rainy season.
Introduction Banana is much more vulnerable to disease than to the insect pests. The diseases often occur in epidemic proportions and bring about catastrophic losses. Among the diseases, the banana wilt ranks first. In addition to fungal diseases, the bunchy top virus has created a situation of a dismal future for the banana industry. Fungal Diseases Of Post-Harvest-Fruits Anthracnose:Gloeosporium musarum Severe during June-September when temperatures are high accompanied by rain. Attack plants at any growth stage. Both green and ripe fruits are attacked, however, ripe fruits are more susceptible to the disease. Symptoms Infection of green fruits, flowers and distal end of hands show circular black, sunken spots surrounded by yellow halos later convening the entire fruit resulting in premature ripening. Black spots on Fruit Ripe fruits develop symptoms from the tip as minute, circular dark brown sunken spots invading the entire tip which becomes black. A pinkish fungus sporulation is produced in the black, sunken areas of fruit. Control Spraying Chlorothalonil 2 g/I at 15 days interval is effective in minimising later infections. Careful harvesting, clean packing, refrigeration at 100C after harvest, fruit dip in aqueous solution of Benomyl at 1000 ppm or aureofungin 100 ppm help in reducing blemishes on fruits.
Diamond Spot: Cercospora hayi, Fusarium spp Symptoms The spot is black, sunken, diamond-shaped lesion, very much confusing with pitting disease. Diamond spot is prevalent after prolonged rainy season. Control Plantation sanitation, good drainage and proper spacing reduce the incidence of this disease. To prevent spread of the disease, spraying of Captan or Dithane M-45 or Dithane Z-78 is effective.
Brown Spot: Cercospora hayi Symptoms Brown spots occur on the rachis, and fingers. The spots are pale to dark brown with an irregular margin surrounded by a halo of water soaked tissue. Control Plantation sanitation, good drainage and proper spacing reduce the incidence of this disease. To prevent spread of the disease, spraying of Captan or Dithane M-45 or Dithane Z78 is effective. Cigar End/ Tip Rot :Verticillium theobromae and Trachysphaera fructigenaSymptoms A black necrosis spread from the perianth into the tip of immature fingers. The corrugated necrotic tissues become covered with fungus and resemble the greyish ash of a cigar end. Control The only best control was the removal of the pistil and perianth by hand as soon as the fingers emerged. Placing a polythene bag over the stem before the hands emerged was effective
Leaf Spot Or Sigatoka Disease Mycosphaerella muscicola - sexual stage Cercospora musai - asexual stage Sigatoka is the name of the valley where the disease first attracted attention. A monogrpah has reviewed information of leaf spot disease. It is a fungal disease. Causes severe economic losses. Spreads very fast during rainy season. Attacks mostly leaves. Epidemiology Three components of weather, usually, determine the production and movement of sigatoka inoculum, rainfall, dew and temperature. Conditions favouring mass infection are most common during the rainy season with temperature above 21° C. Other factors, which influence the rate of disease developed and intensity of spotting, include amount of inoculum on the leaf, age and position of the leaf, plant growth, sun and shade effects on leaf tissue, etc. The major commercial cultivars of banana-Gros Michel and Cavendish group are all highly susceptible to leaf spot disease. All triploid AAA desert bananas of commerce are highly susceptible to sigatoka.
Scorching appearance Disease first appears as pale yellow or greenish yellow streaks running parallel to leaf veins on both the leaf surfaces. Leaves present a scorched appearance, petioles collapse and leaves hang down from pseudostem. if severe, bunch maturity is affected. Early diseased plant produces poor fruits. Control Removal of infected leaves and burning. Proper drainage, spacing, weed management are very Spraying of Thiophanate methyl 1 g/l, or 1per cent Bordeaux mixture + 2% linseed oil, or Captan 2 g/l are some practices that can manage the disease. Scorching appearance Disease first appears as pale yellow or greenish yellow streaks running parallel to leaf veins on both the leaf surfaces. Leaves present a scorched appearance, petioles collapse and leaves hang down from pseudostem. if severe, bunch maturity is affected. Early diseased plant produces poor fruits. Scorching appearance Control Removal of infected leaves and burning. Proper drainage, spacing, weed management are very
Breaking of petiole
Splitting of Pseudostem
Panama Disease Or Banana Wilt: Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. Cubense The first major disease which attacked banana was called Panama disease from the area where it first became serious. Banana wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease and gets entry in the plant body through roots and wounds caused by nematodes. It is most serious in poorly drained soil. Disease spreads through infected suckers. Epidiomology Warm soil temperature and bad drainage favour the spread of the disease and also light soils and high soil moisture. Greater incidence of the disease has been noticed in poor soil with continuous cropping of banana. SymptomsBreaking of petioleSplitting of PseudostemVascular discoloration Dreaded disease of banana and is wide spread in Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal where the cultivars of Rasthali group such as Rasbale, Amrutapani, Malbhog and Mariban are grown. Bacterial Soft Rot Of Rhizome And Pseudostem : Erwinia spp This is a minor bacterial disease, but causing concern in West Bengal. Symptoms It is characterised by a massive soft odorous rot of the centre or a portion of the rhizome. The rot progresses up the pseudostem destroying the growing point and causing internal decay often with vascular discolouration. Externally, the symptoms sometimes resemble those of fusariam wilt. Yellowing and wilting of the leaves are the characteristic symptoms. Control Soil drenching with bleaching powder was found beneficial. Soil and plant drenching with bleaching powder at 2 g/l water at an interval of 10-15 days was found effective in controlling the disease.
Bacterial Wilt Or Moko Disease :Pseudomonas solanacearumSymptoms Affected sucker Affected plants show more or less rapid- wilting and collapse of leaves with a characteristic discolouration of vascular bundles, wilting and blackening of suckers. Affected young plant If pseudostem and rhizomes are cut, a characteristic bacterial oozing as shiny drops can be noticed for besides vascular discolouration. In Cavendish varieties, lower leaves develop a yellowish tinge which soon spreads to other leaves of the plant, which subsequently droop and petioles break at the junction of lamina or pseudostem. Production of yellow fingers, discoloured vascular bundles of fruit stalks and internal dry rot of fruits can also be noticed. Bacterium is soil born. Spreads through use of diseased suckers for planting. In field disease spreads through irrigation water, implements and insects. Infection is favoured by root injury. Control Disease can be minimised by exposing soil to sunlight. Selection of healthy planting material, eradication of infected plants. Disinfecting cutting knives and providing better drainage. Flower visiting insects are main agents for transmitting the disease and this is a good reason for following the practice of removing the bud from the male axis before the bunch matures. Herbicides, e.g., 2, 4-D and 2, 4, 5-T, can be used to kill infected plants in situ and dieldrin sprayed onto a chopped down mat will prevent insects transmitting the disease to the unaffected plants.
Initial symptoms appear in older leaves as characteristic yellowing which ultimately wither, break at petiole and hang down along the pseudostem. Young leaves may not dry immediately but are erect and also get affected later. If severe, entire foliage wilt within 2-3 days Splitting of pseudostem , discoloured vascular region in rhizome are also seen. Individual strands appear yellow, in addition red or brown dots and streaks are also seen. Longitudinal splitting of pseudostem, emittance of rotten fish smell when cut, stunting of plants, wilting and death of suckers are other symptoms of the disease. Control Basrai is immune and Poovan or Champa is resistant, while Sonkel, Rasthali Malbhog, Alpan, Morthaman, Kanthali, Sirumalai, Monthan, Virupakshi are susceptible. Other resistant cultivars include Cavendish group, Moongil, Peyladen Rajabale, Vamanakeli. Selection of healthy suckers, avoiding injury to roots The diseased plants should be uprooted and burnt. Highly infected soil should not be replanted with banana at least for 3-4 years. Use of disease-free planting material and resistant cultivar are recommended. Other measures include use of quicklime near the base of the plant and soaking with water. Application of lime to infested pits, dipping suckers in carbendazim 1 gl/I before planting followed by bimonthly drenching starting 6 months after planting are effective management practices However, once soil is generally infested, there is no economic method of reducing the pathogen population to a level where more than two or three crops of a susceptible cultivar can be obtained. Spraying of Thiophanate methyl 1 g/l, or 1per cent Bordeaux mixture + 2% linseed oil, or Captan 2 g/l are some practices that can manage the disease
D a r k g r e e n
Stunting of plant
s Bunchy Top- Viral disease t The disease is covered by domestic quarantine regulations. Losses were estimated to be Rs.4 crores every year and 100% loss occurs if infected r suckers are planted. e Symptoms a Dark green streaks-Stunting of plant k Aphid s Symptoms appear at stage of growth associated with occurrence of prominent dark green streaks on petioles and along leaf veins. In badly diseased plants leaves bunch together, margins of lamina become wavy and slightly roll upwards. In case of secondary infections, irregular, dark green streaks occur along the secondary veins from series of dark green dots to a continuous dark green line. Severe stunting, non-elongation of leaf stalks, more erect leaves, non production of bunches are other external symptoms. The virus spreads through infected suckers and by banana aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa. Control Adoption of strict quarantine measures. The diseased plants along with rhizomes should be destroyed as soon as they are detected. Planting materials should not be collected from places affected by this disease. The aphid should be controlled to check spread of the disease by spraying with an effective insecticide (Metasystox 0.1 to 0.5%, Dimecron or Parathion). Injection of Monocrotphos solution diluted with water at 1:4 ratio at 30-day interval twice or thrice at 2-3 months after planting has been found effective. Injection of Fernoxone, 4 ml mixed with water at 1:8 ratio into the corm or insertion of capsules containing 200-400 mg of the chemical into the pseudostem after making a slanting hole are also suggested for effective killing of the infected plants. Regular inspection, roguing of diseased plants, and planting virus-free corms have reduced bunchy top disease in Australia. Field trials with Dwarf Cavendish banana revealed that phytosanitary measures help in minimising the disease to a great extent.
Symptoms appear at stage of growth associated with occurrence of prominent dark green streaks on petioles and along leaf veins. In badly diseased plants leaves bunch together, margins of lamina become wavy and slightly roll upwards. In case of secondary infections, irregular, dark green streaks occur along the secondary veins from series of dark green dots to a continuous dark green line. Severe stunting, non-elongation of leaf stalks, more erect leaves, non production of bunches are other external symptoms. The virus spreads through infected suckers and by banana aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa. Control Adoption of strict quarantine measures. The diseased plants along with rhizomes should be destroyed as soon as they are detected. Planting materials should not be collected from places affected by this disease. The aphid should be controlled to check spread of the disease by spraying with an effective insecticide (Metasystox 0.1 to 0.5%, Dimecron or Parathion). Injection of Monocrotphos solution diluted with water at 1:4 ratio at 30-day interval twice or thrice at 2-3 months after planting has been found effective. Injection of Fernoxone, 4 ml mixed with water at 1:8 ratio into the corm or insertion of capsules containing 200-400 mg of the chemical into the pseudostem after making a slanting hole are also suggested for effective killing of the infected plants. Regular inspection, roguing of diseased plants, and planting virus-free corms have reduced bunchy top disease in Australia. Field trials with Dwarf Cavendish banana revealed that phytosanitary measures help in minimising the disease to a great extent.
Yellow streaks on leaf
Rolling of leaves
Banana Mosaic Or Infectious Chlorosis Infectious chlorosis or heart rot of banana is caused by Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) has recently become serious, the disease has been recorded from 20 to 80 per cent in Poovan cultivar. Symptoms The disease manifests itself in all stages of crop growth. Due to repeated use of suckers from infected plants the disease spreads and resulting in the gradual decrease in yield and quality. The disease is known to occur in all banana-growing states. Yellow streaks on leaf Light yellow streaks run parallel to leaf veins giving the leaf a striped appearance. The streaks run usually from mid rib to edge of the blade. Outer leaf sheath may separate from pseudostem and the emerging heart leaf may be necrotic. Diseased plants may not produce bunches or only a few fruits are produced. Rolling of leaves Mosaic plants are easily recognized by their dwarf growth and mottled, distorted leaves. Young leaves show loss of green colour in patches leading to typical mosaic pattern. Leaves are reduced in size, narrow, chlorotic. Virus is disseminated by suckers and Aphis gossypi. Control Adoption of strict quarantine measures. Systematic destruction of diseased plants. Use of disease free suckers. Treating suckers at 40°C with dry heat for 1 day followed by treatment with 120 ppm aureofungin. Cultivation of varieties such as Kuru Bale are recommended
Thrips affected Fruits
Banana Rust Thrips : Chaetanaphothrips signipennis Thrips affected Fruits It has yellowish shaded wings, The damage done by thrips is by oviposition on the young fruits. Nature of damage It causes smoky or red discolouration between individual fingers. The skin becomes reddish brown, roughened and dull in appearance, superficial cracks appear in discoloured skin. The fruits may also split. Control Using only clean corms Dipping in Metasystox 0.1% solution to control the spread of the disease Spray the bunches after emergence with 0.2% Phosphomidan for effective control of pest
Lesions on stem
Nematode damaged field
Burrowing Nematode : Radopholus similis Family: Tylenchidae Order: Radopholinae An extremely serious and wide spread nematode, particularly in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu also reported from Andhra Pradesh. Other hosts include coffee, pepper, coconut, vegetables, ornamentals, grasses and weeds. Nematodes are now recognised as an important soil-borne pathogens causing decline in yield in bananas. Affected plants do not respond to fertilizer, irrigation or cultural practices. The other nematodes associated with the banana crop in- clude, Heterodera oryzicula, Helicotylenchus sp. and Tylenchorhynchus sp. Nature of damage Infested roots Larvae and females are found inside roots in the cortical parenchyma where they feed on the cytoplasm of nearby cells destroying them and forming root cavities which coalesce as the nematodes continuously feed by burrowing laterally and towards the endodermis, producing characteristic reddishbrown lesions throughout the cortex. Lesions on stem Fungi attack through the lesions resulting in atrophy of roots. There appears to be some association between the nematode and Panama disease. Nematode damaged field Eventually the root system is reduced to few short stubs and affected plants get "toppled". Nematode management Crop rotation Rotations involving turmeric, sugarcane, cotton and green gram. Paddy after banana suppressed the population of all nematodes. Paddy after banana, green gram after banana, two crops of paddy after banana were effective in reduction of R.similis. Fallowing and flooding for 3 months after banana efficiently suppressed R.similis. The nematode population was brought down especially R.similis, in coriander and banana ntercropping. Mulching Applying black polythene mulch at 60 per cent moisture depletion recorded the lowest population. Organic amendments Application of neem coated urea at 110 g/plant as a full dose to banana reduced the nematode population both in soil and root. Chemical control Sucker disinfestation Paring and pralinage treatment of suckers with Carbofuran 3G (45 g/sucker) is suggested as a control. Field treatment Drenching Carbofuran 45% G at planting or Carbofuran pralinage registered lowest root nematode population coupled with maximum bunch yield per plant.
Nematode management Crop rotation Rotations involving turmeric, sugarcane, cotton and green gram. Paddy after banana suppressed the population of all nematodes. Paddy after banana, green gram after banana, two crops of paddy after banana were effective in reduction of R.similis. Fallowing and flooding for 3 months after banana efficiently suppressed R.similis. The nematode population was brought down especially R.similis, in coriander and banana ntercropping. Mulching Applying black polythene mulch at 60 per cent moisture depletion recorded the lowest population. Organic amendments Application of neem coated urea at 110 g/plant as a full dose to banana reduced the nematode population both in soil and root. Chemical control Sucker disinfestation Paring and pralinage treatment of suckers with Carbofuran 3G (45 g/sucker) is suggested as a control. Field treatment Drenching Carbofuran 45% G at planting or Carbofuran pralinage registered lowest root nematode population coupled with maximum bunch yield per plant.
Damaged Rhizome Adult Weevil
Weevil damaged field
Damaged stem Rhizome Weevil : Cosmopolites sordidus Family:Curculionidae Order : Coleoptera Most destructive pest, widely distributed in all banana growing areas. Specific pest of Musa spp. Malbhog and Champa varieties highly susceptible. Adult Weevil Adult weevils (10-13mm) are shiny reddish brown to black, with a long and curved snout, elytra short and striated longitudinally, though functional, but the weevils seldom fly. Grub Grubs are creamy white, stout, fleshy, legless, wrinkled and spindle shaped, with red head. Nature of damage Damaged Rhizome Eggs are laid in collar region or on under-ground rhizomes. Grubs bore into the pseudostem and rhizome and make tunnels by feeding. Weevil damaged field Adults also bore into the suckers. As a result of the attack by adults and grubs, the central shoots gets killed, plants show premature withering, suckers get killed, fruits remain undersized and fewer in number. Damaged stem Fungi and bacteria accelerate rotting. Trees may break down with strong winds. Similar damage is done by Odoiporus longicollis in North-East India. Control Planting of healthy suckers Clean cultivation Removal of pseudostems below ground level Trimming the rhizome Dipping in methyl oxydemeton 2 ml/l solution prevents infestation. Applying castor cake 250g or carbaryl 50g dust or phorate 10g per pit before planting also prevents infestation. In case of severe attack, dimethoate methl, oxydemeton or phosphamidon may be sprayed around the collar region. Trapping of adults using yellow traps is also helpful.
Harvesting And Storage Introduction Bananas are harvested at various stages of its maturity depending upon the purpose for which it is cultivated, such as culinary, table purpose etc., and distance to the market (3/4 full maturity in Robusta for distant markets, while full maturity for local market etc.). The assessment of the harvesting maturity is itself is a skilled job. The harvesting in India is usually done by visual judging. The duration of flowering to maturation in days can also be taken as a guide to harvest index. In many of the perennial plantations, depending upon the time of setting of followers, the age of follower sucker at the time of setting it, cultural practices like manuring, irrigation followed will determine the time of harvest, and most often a continuous harvest all throughout the year can be obtained. After harvesting, the pseudostems should be cut leaving a stump of about 0.6 m height. This practice is called muttocking. Experimental evidence showed that the left over stump with its stored food material continues to nourish the daughter sucker (follower) till it withers and dries up The cultivars like "Poovan', 'Monthan', 'Rasthali' and Dwarf Cavendish are ready for harvest in 11 to 12 months from date of planting. Dwarf Cavendish (Basrai) takes 14 months in Maharashtra. Some cultivars like Nendran in Kerala takes only 10 months for harvest. Yields are highly variable. The following are the yield figures of major cultivars Dwarf cavendish in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra30 to 40 t/ha Poovan perennial plantations 15 to 20 t/haWetland or gardenland20 to 25 t/ha Hill bananas (perennial)15 -17.5 t/ha
Ripening Bananas are not usually allowed to ripen on the tree as it takes long time. Moreover, the fruit-peel splits, fruit ripens unevenly and fails to develop good colour and aroma, hence the marketable quality deteriorates. Therefore, banana needs to be ripened artificially. On arrival at the destination, the banana bunches are immediately sold to wholesale dealers who store the fruits in loose heaps in godowns and ripen them in lots as per the need of the retail dealers. In tropical conditions, fruits for local consumption are harvested and ripened by hanging the bunches in a shady place. Some considered four enzymes as catalysts, which increased with ripening particularly at temperature below 300 C. The predominant carbohydrate of green banana was found to be starch which hydrolysed to sucrose, glucose and fructose on ripening. The starch hydrolysis did not commence until respiration had increased to the two-thirds of the climacteric peak and at about the peak of ethylene production. The starch degradation is accompained by an increase in sucrose content followed by glucose and fructose formation during ripening. Some reported that during ripening, arginine, serine, valine, leucine and histidine contents increased whereas aspartic acid and glutamic acid content declined. Smoke treatment is the commonest method to induce ripening in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Smoking is done with straw, leaves and cowdung in a closed chamber with bunches arranged in a heap for 18-24 hours in summer and 48 hours in winter. After taking the bunches from the chamber they are placed in a well-ventilated room for development of colour. Smoke treatment causes ripening of the bunches within 3 days. Ripening is also done by keeping the bunches covered with gunny sacks. Ethrel, ethylene and temperature promoted respiration can cause ripening of the fruits. High concentration (1000 ppm) and/or a prolonged treatment with ethrel (5 min) and ethylene (48 hours) caused intensive respiration. Ethylene at a concentration of 1 part per thousand also helps to initiate ripening of banana. In commercial trade, ripening is initiated by using various chemical substances. Growth regulating chemicals, such as 2, 4-D, 2, 4, 5-T, IAA and TBZ have been tried to hasten ripening. 2, 4-D is the cheapest chemical for inducing artificial ripening, and 1000 ppm of 2, 4-D for 30 seconds was optimum. A post-harvest dip of banana fruits in ABA and IAA solution also hastened ripening. Use of acetylene gas generated from CaC2 for ripening banana was started as early as 1932. Since then CaC2 is used on a large scale in case of ripening mature green bananas. Ethrel application at or above 500 ppm accelerated ripening by 2 days, resulting in optimum eating quality by 4 days after treatment.
Banana can be stored at a temperature slightly above 550 F (130 C) and a relative humidity of 85 to 95 per cent for about three weeks, and is ripened in a week or two at 62-700 F (16.5-210 C). Banana fruit becomes blackened at lower temperatures and should not be placed in a refrigerator. Internally, the banana is carried either by rail or by road in unrefrigerated carriage. On the other hand, the produce for overseas trade is carried in refrigerated ships, the banana being kept in a cool air circulation at about 52-560 F (11-13.50 C). Premature ripening is probably the biggest single cause of loss during storage. Keeping the fruit in relatively high concentration of CO2 and low concentration of O2 can prolong storage life. Dipping of bananas at 200 ppm TBZ has been approved and recommended as a postharvest treatment. A double coating of 12% wax emulsion prolonged the storage life of Dwarf Cavendish banana by 10-12 days at 580 F (14.50 C).
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