If you want to do it for a living, banana farming may be the best option. In India, banana is the second most crucial fruit after mango. This fruit is available throughout the year. It is a favourite fruit of millions of Indians due to its medicinal and nutritional properties and taste. It also contains carbohydrates and vitamins, primarily vitamin B. As a result, bananas can help reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, bananas can help with various health problems, including high arthritis, gastroenteritis, blood pressure, ulcers, and kidney disorders. It can also be used to make chips, banana puree, jelly, juice, jam, etc.
Banana fibre can also make products such as bags, pots, and wall hangers. You can also use banana waste to make rope and high-quality paper. Among all fruit crops in India, banana ranks first in production and third in the area. Aside from that, Maharashtra is the leading producer of bananas. Following Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam are the top banana producers in India.
Banana Farming Tips and Methods
The following are some banana farming tips, methods, and requirements. So, let’s take a look around.
You can grow bananas in a wide range of soil types, from the poorest to the richest. The deep silty, clay, loam, and rich loamy soil, on the other hand, is ideal for banana farming. Many studies have found that pH 6 to 7.5 is ideal for banana farming. Cultivate the bananas in a field with adequate fertility, good drainage, and moisture capacity for good growth. Banana farming requires soils rich in nitrogen, have adequate phosphorus, and are high in potassium.
Aside from that, you should avoid poor aerated, saturated, and nutritionally deficient soils for cultivation. Also, avoid calcareous, sandy, saline, and extremely clayey soils for banana farming. So, for land preparation, use a high-quality tractor like Swaraj 834.
The different varieties of the banana crop are:
- Red Banana
- Safed Velachi
- Grand Naine – An average 25-30kg bunch
- Dwarf Cavendish
Preparation of Land
In the summer, you should plough the land three to four times. In addition, at the time of the final ploughing, apply 10 tonnes of well-rotten FYM or well-decomposed cow dung. The soil should then be levelled using a blade harrow or laser leveller. A tractor drives these implements. As a result, a good quality tractor like Swaraj 744 XT is required for banana farming. If you need a loan but already have one, consider a Loan Against a Tractor for your farming needs. Before planting, nematicides and fumigants should be added to pits.
The best time to sow is from mid-February to the first week of March. The planting distance in India’s coastal belts or high humidity areas must be 1.8m x 1.8m. Furthermore, banana suckers should be planted in pits measuring 45 x 45 x 45 cm or 60 x 60 x 60 cm. Finally, for banana cultivation, the transplanting method is ideal.
Banana is a shallow-rooted crop and requires a lot of water to grow well. For a good yield, 70 to 75 days of irrigation at 7 to 8 days intervals are necessary for the winter. In the summer, it requires irrigation every 4 to 5 days. Aside from that, irrigation is dependent on rainfall during the rainy season. As a result, you should remove excess water because it promotes poor growth.
For banana cultivation, drip irrigation may be the best option. Drip irrigation, according to studies, can save up to 58 per cent of water while increasing yield by 23 to 32 per cent.
A variety of pests and diseases can harm plants. As a result, you must apply chemicals to the crop. So, let us learn more about them.
Pests and their management:
- Corm weevil – Apply Carbaryl to the soil at a rate of 10–20gm per plant.
- Castor cake @ 250gm or Phorate @ 10gmor Carbaryl @ 50gm per pit for rhizome weevil
- The banana aphid – Spray with Dimethoate 30EC (2ml/litre) or Methyl demeton (2ml/litre) water.
- Lacewing bugs and thrips – Spray water with Methyl demeton 20EC at 2ml/litre or Monocrotophos 36 WSC at 2ml/litre.
- Suckers should be treated with Carbofuran 3 per cent CG at 50gm/sucker if they are infested with nematodes.
Diseases and their management:
- Spray Mancozeb @ 2gm/litre or Carbendazim @ 2gm/litre or Copper oxychloride @ 2.5gm/litre or Chlorothalonil @ 2gm/litre or Ziram @ 2ml/litre of water to treat Sigatoka leaf spot.
- Spray copper oxychloride at 2.5g/Litre, chlorothalonil fungicide at 2gm/Litre, Bordeaux mixture at 10g/Litre, or carbendazim at 3gm/Litre of water.
- Before planting Fusarium wilt, dip suckers in carbendazim @ 2gm/Litre of water. – Carbendazim spot drenching at 2gm/Litre of water
- Bunchy Top – Dimethoate spray (20ml/10Litre water)
The crop can be harvested 11 to 12 months after planting. You can also gather the flowers based on market demand. However, you should reap the fruits at maturity level for the local market, whereas for exporting, you should harvest the fruits at 75-80 per cent maturity.
Stay tuned for more information on farming.