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Introduction

Banana is the second most important fruit crop in India next to mango. Its year round availability, affordability, varietal range, taste, nutritive and medicinal value makes it the favourite fruit among all classes of people. According to APEDA Agricultural Exchange the

  • Total production: 28,221.37000 tonnes (2011-12).
  • Highest production state: Tamil Nadu.
  • Other production states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam.
  • Then production of bananas in the year 2011-12 28.46 million tonnes while in the year 2012-13 the production calculated as 30.28 million tonnes.

Popular Varieties

The banana is available in some varieties which are given below:-

Suitability

Varieties

Table and Processing 

Dwarf, Cavendish

Table Purpose

Robusta, Rasthali

Processing 

Monthan, Nendran, Grand Naine, Red Banana

Maturity Indicies

The dwarf bananas are ready for harvest within 11-14 months after planting, while tall cultivars take about 14-16 months to harvest. Drying of top leafs, change in colour of fruits from dark green to light green and tendency of the floral end of the fruit to fall by slightest touch by hand. The mature fruit becomes plumy and all the angles are filled in completely. When tapped the fruit gives metallic sound.

Harvesting Time

Banana is harvested when the fruit is slightly or fully mature depending on the market preferences. For long distance transportation, harvesting is done at 75-80 % maturity.

  • Bananas are harvested hard and green.
  • Main season is from September to April.
  • Bunches attain maturity from 90-150 days after flowering.
  • Bunch should be harvested when fingers of second hand from top are ¾ rounded with the help of sharp sickle 30cm above the first hand.

Storage

Mature green bananas can be stored for up to 3 weeks in ethylene free air or up to 6 weeks in a controlled atmosphere at 14 C.

Packaging

The packaging of bananas is done by these methods:-

  • Vacuum Packaging
  • Corrugated Boxes
  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging
  • Plastic crates
  • Polyethylene film bags

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