Commercial cultivation of Banana

By Vikaspedia on 23 Jan 2017 | read


Banana is a globally important fruit crop with 97.5 million tones of production. In India it supports livelihood of million of people. With total annual production of 16.91 million tones from 490.70 thousand ha., with national average of 33.5 T/ha. Maharashtra ranks first in production with 60 T/ha. Banana contributes 37% to total fruit production in India. Banana occupy 20% area among the total area under crop in India. Maharashtra ranks second in area and first in productivity in India. Jalgaon is a major Banana growing district in Maharashtra which occupy 50,000 hectares area under Banana. But most of Banana is grown by planting suckers. The technology development in agriculture is very fast, it results in developing Tissue Culture Technique.


Banana is basically a tropical crop, grows well in temperature range of 13ºC – 38ºC with RH regime of 75-85%. In India this crop is being cultivated in climate ranging from humid tropical to dry mild subtropics through selection of appropriate varieties like Grandnaine. Chilling injury occurs at temperatures below 12ºC. The normal growth of the banana begins at 18ºC, reaches optimum at 27ºC, then declines and comes to a halt at 38ºC. Higher temperature causes sun scorching. High velocity wind which exceeds 80 km phrs damages the crop.


Soil for banana should have good drainage, adequate fertility and moisture. Deep, rich loamy soil with pH between 6-7.5 are most preferred for banana cultivation. Ill drained, poorly aerated and nutritionally deficient soils are not suitable for banana. Saline solid, calcareous soil are not suitable for Banana cultivation. Avoided soil of low laying areas, very sandy & heavy black cotton with ill drainage.

A soil that is not too acidic & not too alkaline, rich in organic material with high nitrogen content, adequate phosphorus level and plenty of potash are good for banana.


In India banana is grown under diverse conditions and production systems. Selection of varieties, therefore is based on a large number of varieties catering to various kinds of needs and situations. However, around 20 cultivars viz. Dwarf Cavendish, Robusta, Monthan, Poovan, Nendran, Red banana, Nyali, Safed Velchi, Basarai, Ardhapuri, Rasthali, Karpurvalli, Karthali and Grandnaine etc..

Grandnaine is gaining popularity and may soon be the most preferred variety due to its tolerance to biotic stresses and good quality bunches. Bunches have well spaced hands with straight orientation of figures, bigger in size. Fruit develops attractive uniform yellow colour with better self life & quality than other cultivars.

Banana cultivation technologies developed by NRCB


Preparation of land:

  • Plough the land thoroughly atleast for 3-4 times and add about 10 tonnes of well rotten FYM or Compost during last plough and mix it well or add 10-15 kg FYM/ Compost per pit of 60x60x60 cm dimension.

Selection of Suckers:

  • Select ‘Sword Suckers’ with broad corm with narrow sword like leaves, from viral, fungal and bacterial disease free mother plants.
  • The suckers should be 3-5 months old, uniform in size, weighing 1-1.5 kg for Nendran, Rasthali, Ney Poovan and Poovan Banana varieties.
  • For long duration varieties like Karpuravalli and Red Banana, slightly big suckers weighing 1.5-2.0 kg should be used.
  • For planting of ‘Tissue Culture’ plants, the secondary hardened plant should be about 30 cm tall, 5 cm girth with atleast five fully opened healthy leaves and true to type.

Sucker Treatment and planting:

  • The selected suckers should be ‘pared’ by trimming of all the roots along with surface layers superficially to remove any rotten portion of the corm.
  • Dip the pared suckers in 0.2% Carbendazim (2g/litre of water) solution for about 15 –20 minutes as a prophylactic measure against Fusarium wilt disease.
  • Keep the treated suckers in shade overnight before planting. Plant the suckers in the center of the pit and press the soil around the suckers firmly.
  • Apply 40 g of Carbofuron granules per pit to protect the plants against nematode attack and irrigate the field thoroughly.
  • In case of tissue culture plants, one week before planting apply 10 g Carbofuron and 1.0 % bleaching powder or 0.2 % Emissan in 100 ml water as drench into the polythene bags to protect against nematode infestation and bacterial rot (Erwinia Rot) disease respectively.

Calendar of Operations

During First month

  • The soil around the plants should be pressed firmly for better and quick establishment of the plants.
  • Wherever necessary, ‘Gap Filling’ should be done to replace the un- sprouted as well as rotten suckers. Seeds of green manure crops viz., cowpea or sunnhemp be sown.
  • For additional income and also for effective land use efficiency, short duration crops such as onion, green gram, black gram, beans, radish, greens, marigold and short duration vegetables can be grown as intercrop.
  • Tomato, chilly and cucurbits should not be grown as intercrop since these crops harbour nematodes and aphids, which act as vector of virus spread.

Second Month

  • Green manures viz., cowpea or sunnhemp should be ploughed back in to the soil at flowering stage or about 40 days after sowing.
  • Slight digging and earthing up to keep the weeds under control.
  • For Fusarium wilt susceptible varieties like Rasthali, Karpuravalli, Ney Poovan, Monthan and Pachanadan, drench the soil around the plant with 0.2% Carbendazim as a prophylactic measure, or
  • Apply 30g Trichoderma viride or Pseudomonas flourescense along with FYM/compost 1 kg in the soil around the plant as a prophylactic measure for the control of wilt disease.

Third Month

  • Application of 40g of Carbofuron to control nematodes.
  • Digging and weeding.
  • Application of first dose of fertilizers @ 100:300:100 g Urea, Super Phosphate and MOP per plant in basins made about 30 cm away from the plant.

Fourth Month

  • Application of Azospirillum and phosphobacteria @ 30 g and Trichoderma viride @ 30g along with 5-10 kg FYM plant-1.
  • There should a gap of minimum 2-3 weeks between the application of chemical fertilizers and biofertilizers.
  • Periodical removal of side suckers by cutting them above the ground level and pouring 2 ml kerosene at the central core of the sucker.
  • If any virus affected plants are noticed in the field, remove and destroy it immediately and spray with any systemic insecticide to kill the insect vectors which spread the virus.

Fifth Month

  • Application of second dose of fertilizers @ 150:150 g Urea and MOP+ 300g neemcake per plant in the basins made about 45 cm away from the plant.
  • Removal of dried leaves.
  • Digging and weeding.
  • To cater the micronutrient need of the plant and to correct their deficiency, apply 50g agricultural lime and 25g magnesium sulphate per plant.
  • For Fusarium wilt susceptible varieties like Rasthali, Karpuravalli, Ney Poovan, Monthan and Pachanadan drench the soil around the plant with 0.2% Carbendazim as a prophylactic measure.
  • To prevent the egg laying and further attack of stem weevil, spray ‘Neemosol’ @12.5ml/litre or Chlorpyriphos @ 2.5ml/litre on the stem especially in Nendran, Red Banana, Karpuravalli and Monthan varieties.
  • To monitor the corm and stem weevil, 2 ft long longitudinal stem trap @40 traps/acre can be placed at different places. The collected weevils are to be killed using kerosene.
  • Keep the Banana fields as well as surrounding areas weed free and spray systemic insecticides to control the insect vectors.

Sixth Month

  • Digging and earthing up of soil around the plant.
  • Removal of the dried and diseased leaves and spraying of 0.1% Propiconazol (TILT) by thoroughly covering both the surfaces adding wetting agent with the spray fluid especially during winter and cool months for control of Sigatoka leaf spot diseases.
  • Yellowing of leaves which is a symptom of iron deficiency, spray 0.5% ferrous sulphate + 1.0% urea added with wetting agent on the leaves especially in high pH >8.5 and Calcareous soils.
  • To correct the deficiency of zinc, spray 0.5% zinc sulphate solution along with wetting agent.
  • Foliar application of 0.5 Borax is recommended to correct the deficiency.
  • Apply 30g Trichoderma viride or Pseudomonas flourescense in the soil around the plant as a prophylactic measure to control the wilt disease.
  • For controlling the stem weevil attack, using ‘Banana Injector’, inject 2ml of Monocrotophos (150 ml Monocrotophos mixed in 350 ml of water) at 2 and 4 feet height on opposite direction.

Seventh Month

  • Application of third dose of fertilizers @ 150:150 g Urea and MOP per plant in the basins made about 60 cm away from the plant.
  • Removal of the dried and diseased leaves and spraying of 0.1% Carbendazim or Calixin by thoroughly covering both the surfaces along with wetting agent.
  • Periodical removal of side suckers by cutting them above the ground level, scoop the core and pour 2 ml kerosene in the core.
  • Injection of 2ml of Monocrotophos using ‘Banana Injector’ at 2 and 4 feet height for the control of stem weevil.

Eighth Month

  • After flowering, only one healthy side sucker should be allowed for first ratoon and the remaining suckers should be killed using kerosene or uprooted.
  • Spraying of 0.1% Indofil by thoroughly covering both the surfaces.
  • After the emergence of the last hand, the male bud has to be removed leaving about 15 cm stalk from the last hand.
  • To prevent ‘cigar end rot’ disease, remove the pistil and perianth carefully from the fully emerged fingers and spray the bunch with Indofil M-45 @ 2.5 ml/litre.
  • Spray 2% Potassium Sulphate (20g/litre of water) solution with surfactant by thoroughly drenching the bunch and cover the bunch with 100 gauge thick white or blue polythene sleeves having 6% ventilation.

Ninth Month

  • Thirty days after the first spray, give a second spray of 2% Potassium Sulphate (20g/litre of water) solution with surfactant by thoroughly drenching the bunch.
  • Provide casuarina pole or bamboo support to the plants for tall and heavy bearing bunches.

Plant population under different planting systems

S.NoMethod of PlantingSpacing (m)Plant Population/ha
i)Dwarf Cavendish1.5x1.54440
ii)Robusta and Nendran1.8x1.83080
iii)Rasthali, Poovan, Karpuravalli, Monthan2.1x2.12260
a)Paired row planting system
i) Dwarf Cavendish
ii) Robusta, Grand Naine, Poovan,
Rasthali and Ney Poovan
b)3 suckers/hill (Robusta, Nendran)1.8x3.64500

Drip Water requirement at different growth stages of Banana

Sl.NoCrop growth stageDuration (weeks)Quantity of Water
1.After planting / Ratoon1-4Flood irrigation
2.Juvenile phase5-98-10
3.Critical growth stage10-1912
4.Flower bud differentiation stage20-3216-20
5.Shooting stage33-3720 and above*
6.Bunch development stage38-5020 and above8

Weekly Fertigation Schedule for Banana (g/ plant / application)

Weeks after PlantingUreaTotal (g/plant)MOPTotal (g/plant)
9 to 18 week
(10 weeks)
19 to 30 week
(12 weeks)
31 to 40 week
(10 weeks)
41 to 46 week
(5 weeks)

Source :National Research Centre For Banana, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

The propagation of a plant by using a plant part or single cell or group cell in a test tube under very controlled and hygienic conditions is called "Tissue Culture". In India, tissue culture banana is grown in large scale. Particularly, Grandnaine variety is a preferred variety by farmers.