Monday, October 8, 2012

Growing Banana in Malaysia

Banana (Musa spp) are among popular fruit crop in Malaysia and grown for fresh and processing activity. From my study from government statistic reports, there are 29,270 hectare of banana planted in 2012 producing 294,530 metric ton of fresh banana. Total value of banana production in 2012 estimated about RM 294.5 million. Banana concentrated area of planting located in Johor, Pahang, Selangor, Perak and Sabah in Malaysia. There are many local varieties of banana grown in Malaysia such as Pisang Berangan, Pisang Awak, Pisang Susu, Pisang Tanduk, Pisang Lang, Pisang Mas, Pisang Abu, Pisang Nipah, Pisang Rastali, Pisang Masak Hijau and many others. In Malaysia, bananas are being commercialized for domestic market and also for export. This article I would like to share my knowledge experience on banana industry in Malaysia in 'anim Agricukture Technology' for any those interested as a reference.

One of the new babana variety planted in Malaysia are Cavendish Variety that is being planted on a few sites such in Selangor, Pahang dan Johore. This variety planted in a dense stands allowing certain pathogens and pests present in this region of coevolution to reveal their epidemic for the fist time. The recent 'Blood disease of banana' or also called as 'Penyakit Moko' attacked the banana seriously in 2006 after major flood occurred. The control measured are from the use of planting material to the farm sanitation and crop rotation system introduced.  These are as a rotation crop after old palm oil. The plantations are severely affected by Fusarium wilt. The plantations were established with no concern for this disease. 

Banana growing system in Malaysia are as Monocrop and Mixed Planting System. It was known as one of the largest fruit tree grown after durian, pineapple, rambutan and papaya. The banana is the second most widely cultivated fruit in which it cover about 29,270 ha with a total production almost 300,000 metric tones in 2011. About 50% of the banana growing land is cultivated with Pisang Berangan and the Cavendish type. Most of local banana are consumed as fresh fruit and portion of the fresh banana are for fried banana (or locally known as Pisang Goreng). The warm pisang goreng are consumed with 'sambal kicap' or as whole fruits. 

From my observation since 2006, the banana production in Malaysia has decreased because of an increasing threat of dangerous diseases (particularly Fusarium wilt) caused by Ralstonia spp especially on Southern Peninsular of Johore. The high labor costs of production, poor quality diseased fruits and the marketing issues create havoc and cautions or more awareness for the newcomers to grow banana in Malaysia. However, banana is still popular fruit grown and contributes about 16% of the total fruit production areas. The tissue culture planting material seems to overcome the shortage of certified banana planting material from relevant diseases and pathogens. 

In Malaysia, the banana cultivation is largely a smallholder enterprise where farms are small, unorganized and farmers often adopt inferior technology. However from my observation, this production practice often results in low yield and inferior quality. Poor quality has been a major constraint to export of fresh fruits, including banana and other mixed fruits. It is therefore necessary to adopt good production practices and inefficient postharvest handling to ensure consistent supply of high quality banana for export. The new trend of banana planting with larger scale commenced in private estate sector by major GLC's and new entrepreneurs. There is also little research on banana. Local agriculture at the village level provided all the fruit needed for local markets, and the village production was left to its own devices, with research going to rubber, oil palm and later to rice. Although some academic research on bananas exists at universities and at the Malaysia Research and Development Authority (MARDI) but there are more studdy in future about banana growing agronomic practices in Malaysia to carru-out.

M Anem
Jalan Istana, Air Keroh,
Bandar Melaka, 
Melaka, Malaysia.
(21 Zulkaedah 1433H)


  1. Assalamualaikum, my name is Rozidin Masari. I operate a poultry farm in Hulu Langat Selangor, I would like to ask your opinion regarding the chicken manure processing. I searched throughout your blog but could not find any contact details. I would be grateful for your response. I am available at 019-7917010.

  2. Salam. You can find some answers at my other

    1. Dear Animagro, thank you for writing an interesting and informative blog regarding banana growing in Malaysia. I'm currently a Marketing and R&D Manager of Sunrich Biotech S/B, producing high quality tissue culture seedlings (banana, ginger...). Can i have your contact number so that we can further discuss? Me email:

  3. En Anem, I'm very keen to plant Pisang Mas in my garden but don't even know where I can buy the seedlings to start with. Do you know of any source near Subang Jaya, Selangor?

    John Low

    1. Dear John, Sunrich Biotech Sdn. Bhd. specializes in producing tissue culture seedlings. We have pisang Mas, berangan etc... Please feel free to contact regarding tissue culture seedlings. Thank you.

  4. john Low,I got pension fr RMAF, I wish to plant banana Berangan in big scare, do u know where can i find the land of 100 to 200 acres which is suitable fro banana plantation ??

  5. I have question for you. Does cavendish and Berangan same types of banana?

  6. En Zulhilmi, I don't think so. They definitely taste different. I believe Cavendish is the most popular type world wide but here in Malaysia, we generally prefer Pisang Mas, Rastali and Berangan.

  7. I am a starter in banana planting, I just plant 500 trees of berangan, can any body help in technical advise on how to take care of them? how long it start to bear fruit?