Wednesday, December 12, 2012

“Fertility of soil and weed control are very important for successful cultivation of Banana”

Banana cultivation in Amoor by SEVAI

SEVAI, a Trichy based NGO cultivates Banana in Cauvery belt of Trichy District. The Agriculture field worker Sakthivel said, “Fertility of soil and weed control are very important for successful cultivation of Banana as it is one of the most important fruits of India. Weed control is imperative near the banana's base. Simple cultural controls can be successful if we are diligent with our weeding technique. Banana is one of the oldest tropical fruits cultivated for years in India with great socio-economic significance, interwoven in the cultural heritage of the country. It is also a dessert fruit for millions apart from a staple food owing to its rich and easily digestible carbohydrates. Fertility of soil is very important for successful cultivation, as banana is a heavy feeder. Hence, depth and drainage are the two most important considerations in selecting the soil for banana. Banana is grown in Tamilnadu on a variety of soils such as the heavy clay soil of the Cauvery delta; these areas are famous for growing good crop of banana. Banana is essentially tropical plant requiring a warm and humid climate. Weeds are a menace in Banana cultivation system. In a crop like banana, where the entire crop depends on the surface soil for its nutrition and water requirements, weed of any sort will be of deleterious effect to the crop. The weeds compete with the main crop for nutrients and moisture. They at times also harbour pests of banana. The weed growth in any banana fields will reduce the yield by way of reduction of bunch weight, grade of bunches, etc. Hence in banana plantations, periodical weeding is taken up to have a clean cultivation. Weeding is done either through a light digging of surface soil, by mulching or by manual weeding. Creating a soil composition that is designed specifically for banana production can reduce weed growth. Use a pH meter to maintain the necessary acidic soil for the banana plant. Creating a perfect environment for the banana plant will make it difficult for particular weeds to germinate, since they may not tolerate the same soil composition factors. Earthing up should be done during the rainy season to provide drainage, and to avoid water logging at the base. During summer and winter, the plants should be in furrow and on ridges during rainy season. The fertilizer dose depends upon the fertility of soil and amount of organic manure applied to the crop. Bananas are mostly grown by small and marginal farmers.”-Govin

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