Organic farming of banana

Organic farming of banana; points to keep in mind

Organic farming is an oldest farming technique which was passed on to us through generations. In olden times people did not have access to chemicals. So they used manures, fertilizers and pesticides extracted from the nature to nurture and protect their crops. By doing so they lived in harmony with the environment and they stayed healthy and lived for a hundred year. But today the condition has totally changed. Nowadays the minimum lifespan of a human is 60 years. This decrease is due to the toxic chemicals that we consume through our food and in the air we breathe. Conventional farming techniques use chemicals to increase the yield. This affects the human body adversely causing many health issues and diseases.

Here we are going to discuss about banana cultivation.

Banana is a commonly available fruit with essential, nutrients and helps in digestion, maintain heart health and improve weight loss. Banana is also used as a snack food. Banana was originated in South East Asia and they differ in size, colour and shape.

Commonly found variety of banana is the Cavendish type. Along with nutrients, banana contains fibre as well as antioxidants.

When you take a banana, it will contain 105 calories, water and carbohydrates.

Banana is well grown in every soil types with good organic contents and a good drainage property. Before planting the seedling manures and fertilizers are applied to increase the fertility of the soil.

Along with banana, some intercrops are planted to increase the fertility of the soil. Mainly used intercrops are leguminous plants like coffee, vanilla, cocoa and other tropical fruits.

The banana seedling is generated by using suckers and rhizomes. Also nowadays, tissue cultured plantlets are also used. While selecting the seedlings ensure that they are disease free breed and has good yield generation capacity. Suckers can vary in shape. Some are large, some are small. Large suckers are planted in the direction of windward and the smaller one behind them. By following this technique, we can reduce the damage of the crops during heavy winds.

After a month of planting, vermicompost is applied to the soil to provide effective nutrients to the plants and on the 75th day farmyard manures are applied. After the 95th-100th day provide them with Azospirillum, phosphobacteria and vermicompost.

Compost is nothing but organic products applied to the soil. The products are biologically broken down by bacteria, worms, fungi and other micro-organisms releasing the nutrients in them.

Compost is the main source of fertilizers for the banana crop. It helps to improve the quality of the soil, increases microbial activity and removes toxic content from the soil.

Soil for planting should be selected based on the structure, porosity, depth, ventilation and optimum pH level.

As banana is a warm season crop, they need a temperature range of 15 degree Celsius for better growth of the plant. Banana is often planted where there is optimum sunlight.

Weeds can drain nutrients from the soil so there must be a proper weed management. In most of the cases mulching is done to prevent weeds. The area under the plant is covered with green leaves or dry hay to prevent weed growth.

Banana is planted based on different seasons. Some are planted during the rainy season. During heavy and continuous rainy season, seedlings are planted after the rain that is during the months of September-October. And in areas where rains are not much available, they are planted during June-July.

Standard spacing of banana crops include 1.5 m x 1.5 m and 1.5 m x 1.8 m

Manures applied

  • During the time of planting farmyard manure, compost or green leaves are applied.
  • After a few days lime is applied to the pit and allowed to decompose.
  • Vermicompost is applied during the time of land preparation.
  • Ground nut cake is provided to the plant during planting.

Major pest varieties that infect banana crop are rhizome weevil, nematodes, leaf spot, bunchy top etc. In most of the cases, these pests are removed using dasparni arka and neem cake.

Harvest period of banana is from 11-12 month when the fruit reaches the perfect size, they are harvested. Usually they are harvested before ripening.

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