During the past ten years, the South African banana industry has seen substantial fluctuations in hectarages and levels of profitability. On the negative side, the ravages of drought have been felt more frequently, while certain pests and diseases like panama disease, Cucumber mosaic virus, nematodes and banana weevil, remain as serious threats and continue to attract the most funding in research programmes. Input costs continue to increase each year as with all commercial agricultural industries. On the positive side, average municipal market prices for a carton of bananas have progressively increased from 2001 to 2005 and it appears this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. In addition, average farm yields of marketable fruit have increased from 25 to 30 t/ha/annum in the 1980’s to 40 or 50 t/ha/annum in the 2000’s, with an attendant improvement in fruit quality. The editors of this new publication are confident that the technical information contained within will serve the local banana industry well, and help to keep our banana farmers competitive and profitable for many years into the future.

This book is suitable for banana farmers, horticulturists, students, consultants, extension officers and anyone who is interested in the banana industry.

All the important aspects of commercial banana production are provided such as climatic and soil requirements, soil preparation, plantation establishment, cultivars, irrigation and fertilization, plantation management, pest, disease and weed control, post-harvest handling, packing and ripening.

* Also see our leaflets on "Banana Production" available in English
, Swazi and Zulu


Editors:  J.C. Robinson and E.A. de Villiers

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