Production technology

Banana field
Climate: 
 Banana is a fruit for tropical and subtropical regions. Chilling injury occurs at a temperature below 120C, when latex coagulates. Growth reaches an optimum at 270C, then declines and come to a stop at 380C. A monthly rainfall of 100mm is ideal for growth of banana.

Soil: 
Banana can be grown in almost all types of soils in Bangladesh provided adequate soil moisture is available. Well drained, sunny and fertile loamy soil of high land is best. Soil pH should be 4.5-7.5. The topsoil should be adequately fertile as banana is a shallow rooted crop.


Variety:
BARI Kola-1, BARI Kola-2, BARI Kola-3, Sabri, Champa, Kabri, Amrita Sagar, Jahazi or Singapuri, Mehersagar, Aati Kola, Anazi Kola etc. are generally cultivated in different regions of Bangladesh.

Varietal Characteristics of BARI (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute) Released Banana:
Characters
BARI Kola-1
BARI Kola-2
BARI Kola-3
Year of release
2000
2002
2003
How developed
Selection from local germplasm
Selection through introduction
Selection from germplasm
Plant size
Medium sized
Medium sized
Medium sized
Size of fruit
Like Amritsagar
Medium
Medium
Use
Ripe fruit
Unripe fruit as vegetable
Ripe fruit
Fruit/plant
150-200
95-100
138-145
Yield/plant
25 kg
15 kg
23 kg
Yield/hectare
50 MT
30 MT
50 MT
Disease resistance
Sigatoka, Bunchy top
Sigatoka, Panama
Sigatoka, Panama

Propagation:  
Banana is traditionally propagated through sucker in Bangladesh. The suckers are two types- swords (pointed needle shaped leaves) and water suckers (broad leaves). Both suckers arise in large numbers from the parent rhizome. Planters throughout the world usually plant sturdy and healthy sword suckers. But both the suckers can be used as planting materials as there is no significant difference regarding plant growth, development and production. A large number of tissue cultured plants may be developed which show totipotency, uniformity and earliness as planting materials of excellent quality for commercial purpose.

 Land preparation: 
4-5 ploughings and cross ploughings are necessary for proper land preparation. As its root system goes in the deep soil, deep ploughing should be ensured. Then the land should be properly harrowed to break down the large clods. The land should be levelled properly by laddering.

Time of planting: 
Banana is a year round crop. It can be planted anytime. But for commercial production there are three planting time in a year viz. i) mid-September to mid-October ii) mid-January to mid-March iii) mid-March to mid-May. September to November planting is better than any other plantings while September planting is the best, considering the time required from planting to harvesting, uniformity in harvesting, size of fruit, yield per unit area etc. the plantings in December to February is found to be second best time in respect to yield and market price. Bananas planting in March to May take longer on average to crop and the yield is also low. 

Planting system:
Bananas can be planted in either of the following fashions:
i) Square system          ii) Rectangular system             iii) Hexagonal system
  
Hexagonal system accommodates more plants but it is recommended that planting should be done in rectangular or square system as they facilitate convenient intercultural operations. Suckers should be planted with 2.0m X 2.0m spacing. Pits are to be prepared 3-4 days before planting and the pit soils should be thoroughly mixed with organic manure and other fertilizers. Pit should be kept open under sunlight to kill the soil borne pathogens. The individual pit size should be 45cm X 45cm X 45cm.

Manures and Fertilizers: 
Fertilizers should be applied on the basis of soil test. But a general recommendation is as follows:
Manures and Fertilizers
Amount per plant
Organic manure
15-20 kg
Urea
500-650 g
TSP
250-400 g
MP
250-300g

50% of cow dung should be applied during final land preparation. Rest 50% of cow dung and 50% TSP should be applied in pit. 25% of urea, 50% of TSP and 50% of MP should be top dressed and mixing with soil after 1.5-2.0 months of planting. Rest 50% of MP and 50% of urea should be applied after 2-2.20 months by top dressing. Rest 25% of urea should be applied at the time of flowering.

Irrigation: 
 Irrigation should be provided after planting of suckers if there is scarcity of water in the soil. In the dry season, irrigation should be given at 15-20 days interval.

Aftercare:
Weeding to be carried out when and as necessary.  

 Desuckering- unwanted suckers are to be removed by cutting off at ground level as and when necessary.
·       No sucker should be allowed to grow before initiation of bunch. One sucker should be allowed after initiation of inflorescence/bunch.

·         Earthing up and drainage is done before rainy season rainy season to avoid water logging during rains.

·         Irrigation is done at least once in each month when dry condition prevails.

·         Propping is needed at the time of bunch emergence.
Bagging

·       Bagging of bunches  may be done with blue polythene bags to protect the fruits from sun burn, insect attack, hot winds and dust which improves the colour of the fruits.

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      Removal of diseased leaves should be done in order to keep the plantations clean.

Stacking

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                           Proper stacking should be given against storm.





Harvesting: 
 A bunch usually takes 11-12 months to mature after planting of suckers. In Bangladesh, the main harvesting season is from September to November. The banana is harvested when the ridges on the fruit surface change from angular to round and the colour of the skin turns from green to light green.

Ratooning


Ratoon crop: 
The selection of suckers for the ratoon crop is important. All the plants in a plot do not flower at the same time. So, suckers of uniform size and age should be selected. Ratoon crop should not be allowed after 3 years.




Yield: 
Yield of banana varies with variety, agro-climatic situation and management practices adopted for production. Under Bangladesh condition, yield varies between 13-19 tons/hectare. While the national average is 16.46 tons/hectare which is quite low compared to in India (15-40 tons/hectare) as well as to the world production of 40 tons/hectare.

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