Banana is a tropical fruit crop which is one of the major and economically valuable fruits grown in the country. India being a tropical country, serves as an ideal location for banana cultivation. A wide range of varieties of banana are grown across the Indian sub-continent. The Production of Banana is highest in the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
Soil and Climatic conditions required for Banana Cultivation
Banana plants require a temperature range of 15°C - 40°C with a relative humidity of 75-85%. It is best grown in the tropical and subtropical humid lowlands and requires an average rainfall of around 2000 mm.
Deep rich loamy soil having proper drainage and pH between 6.5-7.5 is ideal for banana farming. The nutrient requirement for one metric ton yield of bananas is 7-8 kg Nitrogen, 0.7-1.5 kg Phosphorus and 17-20 kg Potassium.
Methods of production and plantation
Production methods include Vegetative method where suckers are used as planting material and Tissue culture where seedlings are developed through tissue culture. The ideal months for the plantation of banana are May-June and September-October. However, plantation using tissue culture can be done all year round with the exception of the severely cold months.
Banana plantation is mostly done by using either Pit method, Furrow Method or Trench method. Crop rotation can be practiced with banana farming alongside sugarcane, paddy, and vegetables. Crop rotation has proved to have improved soil health as well as provides better control of pests, weeds, and diseases.
The year-round availability and the extensive usage of the banana plant has made it a popular choice for cultivation in India.