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Monday, October 09, 2006
Banana Farming and Products


Banana is one of the most common and widely grown fruit crops in the Philippines. It is also one of the country's major dollar earners, and has consistently ranked next to coconut oil and prawns in terms of value earnings during the last five years.

In 1991, banana topped local production among the other major fruits such as pineapple and mango, thus eating up more than one-third of the production pie.

Banana has various uses. The ripe fruit is pureed, candied, and preserved in various forms when not eaten fresh. Its extract is used in the manufacture of catsup, vinegar, and wine. The unripe fruit is powdered and chipped.

In rural areas, the young leaves are pounded to suppress bleeding and treat wounds. The leaves are also widely used as packing materials for fruits and vegetables in market centers. Banana fiber is manufactured into rope, sack, and mat. Sheets of paper and paper boards are also made from banana peel. Banana blossom is exported dried. Filipino housewives use it in special dishes.

VARIETY

Banana is native to Southeast Asia where the climate is warm and humid. Of the 57 banana cultivars, the following are the most common in the Philippines:

1. Saba - grows to as tall as 20 feet; fruit is angular; has thick peel that is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 15 to 16 months.

2. Lacatan - grows to a height of five to nine feet; fruit is round, seedless; has thick peel that has green when unripe, yellow-orange when ripe; gestation period is 14 to 15 months.

3. Latundan - grows from six to 10 feet tall; fruit is round; has thin peel that is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 12 months.

4. Bungulan - fruit is round, very sweet, seedless and easily rots; has thick peel that is green when unripe and remains green when ripe; flesh is white when ripe; gestation period is 12 months.

5. Cavendish - reaches five to 10 feet high; fruit is bigger than Bungulan; peel is green when unripe, yellow when ripe; flesh is yellow when ripe; export quality; gestation period is six to eight months.

Other varieties grown in the country include the Morado, Pitogo Los Banos, Senorita, Tindok, Gloria, Granda, and Tumok.

CLIMATE AND SOIL REQUIREMENTS

Banana is well adapted to well-drained, loamy, soil that is rich in organic matter. Areas with an average rainfall of 4000 millimeters (mm) a year are ideal sites for a banana plantation. A temperature between 27 to 30 degrees Celsius is most favorable to the crop.

Banana grows at sea level up to 1,800 meters altitude. It is susceptible to root rot when exposed to too much water. Typhoon belt do not make good plantation sites.


PROPAGATION

Banana can be propagated through its rhizomes and suckers. The latter, however, is the best recommended. Suckers must be parasites-free and have healthy roots. These are spaded out of the clumps when four-to-five feet tall.

LAND PREPARATION

The fields is plowed and harrowed thrice. All stumps and bushes must be removed. Knee-deep holes with 45-cm diameters are dug and 3each hole is fertilized with 10 grams of complete fertilizer and a few of granular nematode.

PLANTING

Suckers are set on field in vertical position, then covered with surface soil. Compost material added to the soil enhances the recovery and growth of the new plants. The soil is stumped around each base and watered regularly. During dry months, irrigation, if possible, is advised.Planting is the best at the start of the rainy season.

CULTIVATION AND MAINTENANCE

Cultivation should go beyond six inches from the base of the plant to avoid root injury. Intercrops or Glamoxine or Karmex sprays act as weed control. Plants must be propped with bamboo poles during fruiting for support against strong winds.

DESUCKERING OR PRUNING

Unnecessary suckers must be killed by cutting them off the mother plants. Only one or two suckers must be allowed per hill to reduce soil nutrients competition.

FERTILIZATION

For poor soils, fertilizers should contain N-P-K at a ratio of 3-1-6. the ratio is doubled when fertilizers are applied to young plants. The amount of fertilizer applied increases as the tree matures. At flowering and fruiting period, a tree needs five to six pounds of complete fertilizer.

PEST AND DISEASES

There are at least 27 insect pests that attack banana plants in the Philippines. However, there are only three pests known to cost significant damage over all types of banana.

The banana corm weevil feeds on suckers and destroys the corm tissues. It causes the suckers to die of bore attack. To control this pest, spray the soil with Furadan 5 G, 10 G. Sanitation and cutting of affected corms are also effective cultural controls, and are environment friendly.

Fruit-peel sarring beetle damages the fruit surfaces. The banana bunch is usually sprayed with Decis to control infestation. The banana floral thrips can be easily controlled by Diazinon 40/60 EC or Decis 2.5. 100 EC spray.

The three major diseases of banana are the sigatoka, pitting or wilting and the moko.

Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease caused by Mycosphaerella musicola. This causes the premature death of leaves. In severe cases, the size of bunches and fingers is reduced. The fruit is also ripens prematurely and develops abnormal flavor and smell. Plants are usually sprayed with Bordeaux mixture. Badly spotted leaves are removed to avoid contamination.

Pitting or Wilting disease is characterized by dry, reddish-brown or black, circular or oval, depressed spots. Sanitation is one way of preventing the disease which comes in season with the rainy days. All collapsed leaves should be removed.

Moko disease, on the other hand, transmitted from plat to plant by insects and infected tools. The impact ok moko to plants is similar to that of the sigatoka. Only, it does not emit unfavorable smell. Infected fruits also blacken inside. Infection is prevented by disinfecting tools with formaldehyde.

In view of environmental considerations, alternative controls to pests and diseases are being introduced under Integrated Pest Management. Infected plants and weeds must be uprooted to keep the area free of host plats for six to 12 months.

HARVESTING

Regardless of variety, the maturity of banana can be distinguished when the last leaf turns yellow. The angle formation of the fingers also determines ripeness. The rounder the angle of the fingers, the more mature the are.

Saba is harvest 15 to 16 months after planting; Lacatan, 4 to 15 months; Latundan, 12 months; Bungulan, 12 months; Cavendish, six to eight months.

Harvesting needs two people to serve as the cutter and the backer. It involves cutting deep into the middle of the trunk and letting the top fall gradually until the bunch is at the reach if the backer. The peduncle is cut long enough to facilitate handling.

Fruits for immediate shipping are harvested 5 to 10 days before ripening. Bananas for marketing are packed in crates as tightly as possible to lessen unnecessary vibrations during transport.

----------

BANANA PROCESSING AND PRODUCTS

Banana Chips

Sweetened or salted banana chips are prepared from hard, green Saba or Cavendish.

* Prepare brix or arnibal for sweetened chips by mixing three parts of sugar for every one part of water.
* Clean, peel, and slice the bananas to about .05 to 1.0 mm thick. Soak in cooking oil, turning frequently to prevent sticking.
* Place the banana chips in a strainer, allowing the oil to drip while heating cooking oil in a pan. Dip and fry the chips in the cooking pan without removing them from the strainer. Turn until yellowish brown, then lift the strainer and allow the oil to drip.
* Soak the fried chips in arnibal for two to three minutes. Let the syrup drip, the fry again until the chips become shiny.
* Let cool before packing or placing in bottles, cans, or plastic bags

For salted banana chips, use salt instead of refined sugar and soak in salt solution instead of arnibal.


Pastillas De Saging

* Boil ripe Saba, then peel and slice to 3-cm thick.
* Prepared half a cup of water for every two cups of sliced banana and 300 grams sugar for every kilo of the same. Mix and mash the ingredients and cook in low heat while mixing until the ingredients become uniform, shiny, and no longer stick to tha pan.
* Tranfer the mixture to a kneading board covered with wax paper and with sugar sprinkled over it. Press with a long rolling pin until the mixture becomes 1-cm thick, then add butter and sugar according to taste. Slice to piece 4 cm x 4 cm thick. Let cool before packing in candy wrappers.


Banana Wine

* Peel ripe bananas and slice thinly
* Measure. To every one part sliced bananas, add one-and-one-a-half parts water.
* Boil for 30 minutes or longer depending upon the quantity of the pulp.
* Strain
* Add sugar to the extract (one part sugar to every three parts extract).
* Stir and boil to dissolve the sugar. Sugar content should be 22-24 degrees. Brix.
* Allow to cool.
* Place in clean glass container or demi-johns.
* Inoculate with yeast (one tablespoon Red Star yeast to every 40 liters of boiled sweetened juice).
* Plug mouth of demi-john with a clean piece of paper to protect from dust.
* Ferment for a mouth.
* Siphon out the clear fermented liquid.
* Filter and transfer to a sterilized oak barrel for aging
* Cover hole with a wooden plug and seal with melted paraffin
* Age for two years or longer.
* Clarify the wine with eggwhites (eight eggwhites for every 30 liters of wine) by heating the aged wine in stream bath or heating the age wine in steam bath or a double boiler to a temperature of 55-60 degrees Celsius while adding the well-beaten eggwhites.
* Stir to maintain the temperature to 15-20 minutes.
* Cool.
* Filter the wine and bottle by siphoning into clear and sterilized bottles.


Banana Vinegar

Materials

* One part peeled ripe bananas (25 pieces,medium-sized)
* Two parts water
* 1/4 part sugar

Procedures

* Wash ripe bananas.
* Peel and cut into pieces.
* Add water and boil for five minutes
* Cool.
* Strain.
* Add sugar and heat again
* Cool again.
* Pour into suitable containers.
* Add one-teaspoon yeast for every kilo of fruit used.
* Plug mouthy of container with a piece of paper to protect it from dust
* Ferment to two to three weeks
* Siphon out clear, fermented liquid into a sterilized container.
* Add 100 cc of mother liquor to every kilo of fruit used.
* Plug mouth of container with cotton and cover it with clean paper.
* Ferment for one to two months.
* Pasteurize at 70 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.


Banana Figs

* Select firm, ripe Cavendish bananas.
* Peel.
* Blanch for 30 seconds in boiling syrup made up of one part water and ¾ part sugar. Brown sugar may be used.
* Cook for one minute.
* Remove from fire and let bananas soak in the syrup overnight.
* Drain bananas.
* Add ¼ part sugar to syrup and boil.
* Add bananas and cook for one minute.
* Everyday for three more days, concentrate syrup by boiling for five to seven minutes.
* Soak bananas. On the final concentration, the syrup must attain a thick consistency.
* Soak bananas in the thick syrup for a week to plump and be thoroughly impregnated with syrup.
* Drain bananas and dry. The figs when dried can be handled without sticking to the finger.


SOURCE: da.gov.ph

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1 Comments:

Thanks for the article. Where can you buy tissue cultured banana seedlings/plantlets in the Philippines?
Anonymous Anonymous said this on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:34:00 AM  

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