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India is the world’s largest producer of banana with 13.9 million tons. It is grown in almost every state. Banana is the only fruit available throughout the year. It is highly nutritious but perishable and sensitive crop. The production is also irregular.

Demand for quality fruit is increasing so to increase the production it is necessary to go for odd season plantation. Tissue culture provides a big tool to fulfill the requirement of supply of quality fruit round the year for domestic as well as export market.

Comparison between conventional Banana plants and tissue culture plants
1. Conventional Plants Tissue Culture Plants
2. Planting material may be infected
Tissue culture plants are disease free and healthy.
3. There is no uniform growth. There is uniform growth.
4. Total time up to harvesting is 16-18 months. It takes only 12-13 months.
5. There are fewer yields in comparison to tissue culture plant. Yield is more than conventional plant.
6. Cost of irrigation, labor and cultivation are more because crop period is more. Cost of irrigation, labor and cultivation are less because crop period is less.


Tissue culture Banana cultivation

Soil:

All types of well drained soils with good water holding capacity are suitable for Banana.

Recommended spacing:

6’ X 6’, 6’ X 5’ or 7’ X 5’.

Land Preparation:

Soil should be well prepared with 1 or 2 successive ploughing and harrowing. Make pits of 1 X 1 X 1’ and mix 2-3 Kgs of Farm Yard Manure, 5g Phorate and 200g Neem cake into sufficient quantity of soil and add this mixture to pits.

Planting:

Make slits in the polybag containing the plant, place it vertically in the pit and fill the pit up to the level of soil in the polybag.

Water management:

Irrigate immediately after planting and follow this with once in 3-4 days. The average consumption of water per plant is about 2-20 litres, depending upon the age of the plant.

Standard doses of fertilizers:

Nitrogen- 170g/Plant. Potash- 45g/ Plant and Phosphorous- 185g/ Plant.
Total fertilizer required for 1 Acre: 218Kg N, 65Kg P: 272 Kg K2O
Planting distance: 6 X 5’ (1452 plants).
In order to avoid loss of nutrients from conventional fertilizers i.e. loss of N through leaching, volatilization, evaporation and loss of P and K by fixation in the soil, application of water soluble or liquid fertilizers through drip irrigation (fertigation) is encouraged.

Flowering:

Once the flowering is over, remove the male buds and trim the floral remnants to avoid finger tip disease. Increase the water frequency.

Yield:

The crop will be ready for harvesting in 10-12 months after planting. Yield is approximately double if banana tissue culture plants are planted with proper cultivation, soil preparation, and water and fertilizer management.

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