Guide on Banana Production – Banana requires a deep, friable, loam soil with a good drainage and aeration. It can tolerate a wide range of soil pH (4.5 – 7.5). It thrives best in warm humid climate with an even distribution of rainfall throughout the year.
Preparation of Planting Materials
Suckers (Sword or Maiden Leaf)
1. Suckers must be 11 to 20 cm in diameter and weigh 2.3 to 2.7 kg. Remove the leaves except the two youngest.
2. Cut back 10 cm above the rhizomes for maiden leaf suckers.
1. Obtain corms from healthy large suckers that have not fruited yet.
2. Use corms with cut tops of 10 to 15 cm in diameter, with a minimum of one good bud.
3. Dip the corms in a solution containing fungicide and insecticide plus spreader sticker.
4. After treating 60 corms, add 1/3 of the chemical mixture and level the solution back to 20 li water.
5. Use hand gloves and mask when dipping corms.
6. Dip the corms for 5 to 10 minutes and air dry under the shade.
1. Clear / Underbrush and remove all stumps.
2. Deep plow and harrow the soil two to three times.
3. Dig holes at least 50 cm diameter and 30 cm deep, five (5) meters between rows for Saba, and three (3) meters between rows for Latundan and Lakatan.
1. Plant either the whole corm or cut the corm into pieces with each piece/bit having at least one viable bud.
2. Plant suckers or corms erect in the hole to about 30 cm deep. Cover the soil and press gently.
3. Planting Distances:
a) Saba/Cardaba (5 x 5 meters apart)
b) Latundan/Lakatan (3 x 3 meters apart)
Replant the ungerminated plant materials 3-4 weeks after planting.
a) Fertilize the plant 0.25 kg Urea plus 0.25 kg Muriate of Potash every three months in each mat to ensure proper growth of banana plants (or based on leaf or soil analysis).
b) Apply the fertilizer 30 to 60 cm from the pseudostem in a ring or by band placement.
c) On slopes, the fertilizer must be forked-in on the uphill side of the plant.
2. Ring/Strip weed or use herbicides until plants provide shade to suppress weed growth.
3. Remove dry leaf sheaths and leaves quarterly using a pruning knife attached to a long pole.
4. Remove unwanted suckers by digging or cutting off from point of attachment to the mother plant or by severing the sucker at the ground level and with the use of a special roguing knife that scoops out the growing point.
5. Debell bunches immediately after false hand appearance.
1. The plant has six or less functional leaves.
2. Fruits are full, plump, round and light green.
3. Angles in the fingers are rounded.
4. Leaves turn yellow.
Variety, (weeks from flower emergence), (days from “false hand” appearance)
1. Latundan, 9 – 11, Harvest not earlier that 70 hanging days
2. Lakatan, 12 – 14, Harvest not earlier than 80 hanging days
3. Saba/Cardaba, 20 – 24, Harvest not earlier than 118 hanging days
1. Cut the trunk slowly and partially about 1/3 from the top to ensure slow toppling of the bunch.
2. Use knife, bolo, sickle or hatchet to do the operation.
3. Hold the peduncle leaving about 30 cm of the stalk for easy handling.
1. A bamboo pole is used to support the upper portion of the bunch.
2. The harvest moves the base of the pole slowly until the bunch touches the shoulder pad.
3. The harvester cuts the stem of the bunch 46 cm above the fruit to provide a handle for the carrier.
4. Do not cut the pseudostem close to the ground after harvest. Leave at least 1 – 1.5 meters of the pseudostem.
1. De-handling with a knife or special de-handling knife.
a) Clean/Wash the newly harvested fruits
b) Air dry after washing
c) Pack the fruits
Size (length of fingers) requirements of different cultivars of banana in the Philippines.
Variety = Large (cm), Medium (cm), Small (cm)
Latundan = 13, 8 – 13, 6 – 8
Saba/Cardaba = 12, 10 – 12, 8 – 10
Lakatan = 15, 10 – 15, 10
Several available packaging materials:
a) woven large bamboo or rattan baskets lined with dried banana leaves or newsprints
b) wooden crates of 12 – 15 kg capacity
c) 12 kg capacity cartons
Packed fruits are either kept in cold storage or ripening rooms.
Optimum storage temperature for some banana cultivars:
Cultivars Optimum Temperature (C) Storage Period (days)
Saba/Cardaba: 10 degrees Centigrade in 35 days
Latundan: 14 degrees Centigrade in 21-28 day
Lakatan: 13 Centigrade in 28 days
Common Pests, Diseases and their Control
1. Fruit scarring beetles
2. Banana thrips
3. Mealy Bugs
4. Banana ophids
5. Corm weevil
1. Panama disease or Fusarium wilt
2. Moko or bacterial wilt
4. Black leaf streak (BLS)
5. Banana bunchy top (BBT)
6. Banana bract mosaic (BBM)
7. “Bugtok” or “Tibagnol”
1. Field and mat sanitation, leaf pruning for light penetration and reduction of dampness.
2. Chemical treatments (fungicides, insecticides and nematicides).
3. Eradicate / remove infected plant.