Package of Practices - BANANA

Introduction :

Banana is one of the most commonly grown fruit crop of the country. India produces about 26.217 Mmt of Banana from an area of 0.709 Mha with an average productivity of 37.0 mt/ha. Major producing states are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has 0.1244 mha under Banana and the total production during 2008-09 is 6.667 Mmt with 53.6 mt/ha productivity. In Gujarat, banana crop is cultivated in 11 districts covering an area of about 60900 ha. Gujarat is ranking 3rd among the states of India with an average productivity of 58.7t/ha. Unripe fruits are used for making chips, vegetable flour etc. Ripened fruits are used for preparing drink, jam, beer, salad etc. Banana fruits are having numerous medicinal uses (As per Aryuveda). From psedostem threads are obtained and used for making rope and cloths.  

Prevailing varieties:
Basarai, Lokhandi, Robasta, Shreemanti and Grand Naine.
Climate :

Banana grows well in warm and humid climate with an average temperature of 27oC and rainfall of 2000 to 2500 mm. However, it requires assured irrigation facility.

Soil type suitability :

Loamy and salty clay loam soils with good fertility status are best suited for banana cultivation. However, extremely clayey and sandy soils are not suitable for banana crop.

Land Preparation :

The land should be ploughed and subsequently harrowing and planking should be done for achieving leveled field. For planting banana, dugout a pit of 30 x 30 x 30 cm size at a spacing of 1.5 x 1.5 m during the month of April or May.

Soil Sterilization :

After land preparation, the pits should be allowed to expose the sunlight for 10 to 15 days. In the case of heavy infestation of soil born pest and diseases, the soil solarization should be done using transparent plastic for a period of 15 to 20 days during summer season (preferably during May).

Time of planting :

Optimum time for planting is 15th June to 15th July.  Banana planting is done either by suckers or tissue culture plant.

Suckers :

Suckers should be selected from healthy field of banana. Sufficient care should be taken that suckers should not be damaged during digging and transport. Fresh sucker weighing about 500 to 1500 g should be selected. For control of fungal diseases, suckers should be dipped in solution of aurofugine (10g/100 l water) or Captafol (200 g/100 l water) or Carbendezin (100 g/ 100 l water) for 1.5 hr prior to planting.

Tissue culture plant :

Select healthy and uniform plants.

Irrigation Scheduling :

The water requirement of banana crop by surface method of irrigation (25-30 irrigations) is 1500-1800 mm. By drip irrigation method, water requirement is 900-1080 mm. The drip system should be operated on alternate day for a period of 1.05 to 2.25 hrs during winter and 2.5 to 2.75 hrs during summer at a pressure of 1.2 kg/cm2.

Details of Drip System :
Lateral spacing 1.5 m
Dripper per plant 2
Spacing between two drippers 30 cm away on either side of stem
Dripper discharge rate 4.0 lph
Water requirement for banana under drip irrigation:
Months after planting Liters /day/plant
1-3 5
3-5 9
5-8 11
8-11 10
Application of Fertilizers :
    1. FYM should be applied @ 20 to 25 t/ha at the time of land preparation.
    2. Top dressing of fertilizer should be done as given below
System/ Time Urea (g/plant) SSP (g/plant) MOP (g/plant)
Basal 80 750 500
Fertigation through drip      
30 day after monsoon 80    
60 days 80    
90 days 80    
120 days 80    


For using water-soluble fertilizers, the following schedule of fertigation may be followed:

Nutrient Fertilizer application schedule
N (180g/plant) 7 to 8 splits at an interval of 15 to 20 days.
P (72g/plant) 7 to 8 splits at an interval of 15 to 20 days.
K (180g/plant) 7 to 8 splits at an interval of 15 to 20 days.
Time of application :

The total quantities of water-soluble fertilizers should be applied in 7 to 8 splits at an interval of 15 to 20 days. The first split should be applied at the time of planting before monsoon and the rest should be applied after the cessation of monsoon.


Banana field should be kept weed free either by hand weeding/ interculturing or by weedicide (Diuron @ 1.2 kg/ha as pre emergence) application. Mulching with black plastic (50 micron) or sugarcane trash (@ 10 t/ha) should be done. If required, one hand weeding should be done prior to mulching.

Desuckering :

First desuckering should be done manually and for minimizing the regeneration of suckers following treatment should be given. 3 ml of diesel or kerosene should be injected into the cut portion of the suckers.

Plant protection measures :
S.No. Diseases Control Measures
1. Bunchy top Aphid should be controlled by applying systemic insecticide viz; Monocrotophos: 0.04% or Mythele-o-Demeton: 0.05%.
2. Premature fruit ripening Sucker should be dipped in the solution of Aurofugin 10 g or Captafol 200 g in 100 litres of water for 1.5 hrs.
  Pests Control Measures
1. Rhizome weevil and nematode 13 g Phorate (10 G) or 40G Carbofuran (3G)/ plant at the time of planting and 4 months after planting.
Bunch coverage:

After the complete formation of bunch, it should be covered by LLDP film bag of either blue or white or black colour. This improves quality as well as yield of banana.

Time of harvesting :

Maturity varies with variety but normally crop takes about 12-14 months to mature.

Yield :

By adopting the above package of practices in banana, yield of about 70 to 80 t/ha is achieved. Size and colour based grading is generally done

Post harvest handling and storage :

Bananas can be stored for up to a week in a cool place but unripe bananas should not be stored in the refrigerator, as this may irreversibly interrupt the ripening process. If the banana is no longer green it is ripe and can be stored for a maximum of one week. For storage, banana should be stored at 13o to 140C

Bunches should be kept out of light after harvest, since this hastens ripening and softening.  For export, hands are cut into units of 4-16 fingers, graded for both length and girths and carefully placed in poly-lined boxes to hold 12 to 18 kg depending on export requirement. Prior to packaging fruits are cleaned in water or dilute sodium hypochlorite solution to remove the latex and treated with thiobendazole.

Plastic packaging:

Keeping quality of banana can be increased when packed in 400 gauge LDPE (low-density polyethylene) bag with or without ventilation either under ambient temperature or in zero energy cool chamber (13.5°C). Storing of banana fruits in unvented polybags at low temperature could extend the shelf-life of the fruits up to 19.33 days.

Cost economics:
Annual system cost (Rs/ha) 17,500
Cost of cultivation (Rs/ha)    1, 08,000
Total cost (Rs/ha) 1, 25,500
Total income (Rs/ha) 2, 10,000 to 2, 40,000
Net income (Rs/ha)   84,500 to 1, 14,500
C:B ratio 1:1.67
For more information, kindly Contact :

Principal Investigator, Precision Farming Development Centre (PFDC)
Soil and Water Management Research Unit, Navsari Agricultural University,
Navsari - 396450. (Gujarat)
Ph. (02637) 283792, 282771-75 (Ext. 114, 115).Fax: (02637) 282856.