Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Banana Planters has a strict policy of not using harmful chemical in the production process”. K.Devendran, SEVAI.

Banana plantation in Amoor by SEVAI

“Banana Planters has a strict policy of not using harmful chemical in the production process” said by K.Devendran, Coordinator of SEVAI, Agriculture project.K.Devendran was involved in farm training of Banana growers in SEVAI,Amoor and further said,  Growing bananas does not require much effort but to achieve high yields requires skills, dedication, and proper planting methods. Bananas need warm subtropical climate, adequate moisture and protection from wind. The ideal temperature range is around 26-30°C. Although Bananas grow best in bright sunlight, high temperature will scorch leaves and fruit. High velocity wind which exceeds 80km per hour damages the leaf. Bananas are also vulnerable to being blown over due to the weight of the stem of fruit. Thus, Propping should be done during the last few months of its life cycle before harvest. Bananas need rich, moisture and well-drained soil with 40% clay, 75% silt, 85% loam. Bananas prefer a more acidic soil with pH between 6-7.5. Avoid soil that is sandy, salty, nutritionally deficient and ill-drained soil. Bananas do not tolerate water logging because its roots will rot. Bananas need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium with a ratio of 3:1:6 and other micronutrients to ensure the plants grow vigorously. The most economical and efficient spacing is 1.82m x 1.52m with 3,630 plants per hectare (a wide spacing of 1.82 m between rows). Depending on the soil quality, one must apply the appropriate method as well as the depth and spacing at which plants are required to be planted. Mark the spots where the plants will be planted. Avoid marking and planting as you go because any oversight may lead to uneven spread of the Bananas. The best method to avoid this from happening is to use a long measuring tape. Dig a hole with a foot in diameter and ten to twelve inches deep and place the plants in the hole keeping the pseudo-stem 1 inch below the ground level. Toss a small amount of fertilizer into the hole to boost the growth of the plant and fill the hole with soil. Soil around the plant should be tramped down firmly to remove air pockets. A complete fertiliser with a ratio of 3:1:6 of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium is generally suitable for most Banana plantation. It is advisable to water and fertilize at the same time to help Bananas grow. If water system is not available, the best time for application of fertilizer is after rain. Mulch is primarily used to modify the effects of the local climate. A wide variety of natural and synthetic materials are used. Support Banana plants with bamboos. Banana plants often go off balance due to the heavy weight of the bunch. Therefore, two bamboos should be propped by placing one against the top of the bunch and the other against the stem on the leaning side. Propping using only one bamboo is not advisable as the Banana plant may plunge to the other direction during strong wind. Harvest when fingers are fairly evenly rounded. General practice is to harvest when fingers of second hand are ¾ rounded. The mother plant should be cut off after harvest as the plant can never produce again”. Govin

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