Sunday, September 9, 2012

Banana in Malaysia

Banana (Musa spp) is one of the famous consumed fruit troughout the world. It was grown in many countries for century with various cultivar. World banana producers from 4 countries were Equador, Costa Rica, Philipines and Colombia which contribute 33% of world production. In Asia only Philipines produce hugh amount of banana. Other producing countries were India, Equador, China, Brazil, Latin Americans and Caribean. Malaysia grow about 28,020 hectare in 2005 with about 262,250 metric ton in 2009 reduced to only 27,575 hectare in 2008 with about 260,911 metric tons. Most big banana plantation growing banana fruit and act act as processors, marketing , shipping and distributing at their own capacity to the world. I have experience in doing extension to small scale banana growers in Malaysia for almost 27 years. Banana in Malaysia grown for domestic and small amount for export to neighboring countries.

Talk about banana tree, I notice that banana trunk able to reach up to 2-4 meters height. The banana suckers used as planting material in the traditional planting for small scale farmers. Today technology with the tissue culture technic, most of the new planting material prefer to use Tissue Culture Seedling. This new seedling provide uniform quality , plant height, maturity period and easy to practice farm activity. Cost for new tissue culture planting material was affordable and considered as cheap about RM 1.20 to RM 2.00 in Malaysia and there was many registered suppliers availabble. The tissue culture seedling for selected varieties such as Pisang Berangan, Pisang Rastali, Pisang Nipah and Pisang Mas easily available but not for Pisang Tanduk, Pisang Lang and Pisang Cavendish.

Banana able to grow in poor soil condition but will less productive without deep well drained soil, forest loam, rocky sand or even in heavy clay. In Malaysia area like ex-mining area, peat soil even a Bris soil are potential area to grow banana with proper technology and adequate knowledge. Banana grow well in good drainage and poor result at flood prone area.  Latest occurrence on Banana Moko Disease (Ralstonia spp) seriously affect the banana industry in Malaysia since 2006. The activity to control this disease was carried out with IPM approach and after 5 years the control measure shown a significant results.  

M Anem
Kuala Perlis

(23 Jun 2012)

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