Home Crop Monitoring Introduction to Plantains and their Environment

Introduction to Plantains and their Environment


Plantains (Musa spp., AAB genome) are crops producing fruits that stay starchy at maturity (Marriot and Lancaster, 1983; Robinson, 1996) and want processing earlier than consumption. Plantain manufacturing in Africa is estimated at greater than 50% of worldwide manufacturing (FAO, 1990).

The bulk (82%) of plantains in Africa are produced within the space stretching from the lowlands of Guinea and Liberia to the central basin of the Democratic Republic of Congo. West and Central Africa contribute 61 and 21%, respectively (FAO, 1986).

It’s estimatedthat about 70 million folks in West and Central Africa derive greater than 25% of their carbohydrates from plantains, making them probably the most necessary sources of meals vitality all through the African lowland humid forest zone (Swennen, 1990).

Nigeria is among the largest plantain producing international locations on this planet (FAO,2006). Regardless of its prominence, Nigeria doesn’t function amongst plantain exporting nations as a result of it produces extra for native consumption than for export. Nationwide per capita consumption figures present its significance relative to different starch staples (FAO, 1986).

Nonetheless, these figures don’t present regional reliance, which is commonly essential for extremely perishable crops which can be normally consumed in or close to areas of manufacturing.

The consumption of plantain has risen tremendously in Nigeria in recent times due to the quickly growing urbanization and the nice demand for simple and handy meals by the non-farming city populations.

In addition to being the staple for many individuals 2in extra humid areas, plantain is a delicacy and favored snack for folks even in different ecologies. A rising business, primarily plantain chips, is believed to be answerable for the excessive demand being skilled now within the nation.

Introduction to Plantains and their Environment

This examine evaluations the pattern of plantain manufacturing, its issues and prospects in Nigeria within the final 20 years.

  1. Morphology

Bearing crops include:

(a) The Bunch or inflorescence: Composed of many flowers, the bunch emerges between the leaves and is connected to the plant by a rachis or fruit stalk. The various protuberances on the rachis are referred to as glomerules. Every glomerule bears a bunch of flowers, additionally referred to as a hand.

Edible fruit (or fingers) develop from feminine flowers situated on the first 10 glomerules of the bunch. Impartial flowers (additionally referred to as hermaphrodite or intermediate flowers) seem subsequent however don’t grow to be fruit as their ovaries can’t swell to type pulp.

The purple bud on the finish of the bunch known as the “male bud” and consists of bracts overlaying teams of so-called male flowers. This male bud could also be absent or current when the bunch reaches maturity.

(b) ThePseudo stem with foliage leaves: The cylindrical construction rising from the soil and carrying the foliage is just not a stem within the true sense. It’s a “false” stem or pseudostem as a result of the rising tip (or meristem) of the plant stays close to soil degree.

Because the false stem consists of overlapping leaf sheaths, plantains are like large herbs and not like timber. The leaf sheaths render help to the rachis of the mom plant.

Younger suckers (shoots from the primary plant which might grow to be bearing crops) have slim, lanceolated leaves that are referred to as scales and are simply distinguishable from the massive foliage leaves.

(c) The Underground corm with suckers and roots: The corm, typically wrongly referred to as a bulb, is the true stem of the plant.

Quite a few roots emerge from the corm, most of which develop horizontally at a depth of 0 to 15 cm. Roots are whitish if younger and wholesome and turn into brown with age. If infested by nematodes, they turn into brown and even black and/or present protuberances.

The rising tip (or meristem) on the prime of ·the corm constantly types new leaves and later turns into the inflorescence. The corm produces many branches, referred to as suckers, and the entire unit is commonly referred to because the “mat” or “stool”.

After the plant crop has been harvested, the mom plant is reduce down and the suckers are thinned. Though all suckers are followers or daughter crops, the cultivator selects one (the ratoon) to proceed the subsequent cycle of manufacturing.

The second harvest from the plantain mat known as the primary ratoon crop. The third harvest is the second ratoon crop, and so on.

  1. Cultivars

No less than 116 plantain cultivars have been recognized in West and Central Africa. Plant measurement and bunch kind are crucial traits for manufacturing functions.

Plant measurement is dependent upon the variety of leaves produced earlier than flowering: large greater than 38 foliage leaves; medium between 32 and 38 foliage leaves; small fewer than 32 foliage leaves. When the plantains flower, leaf manufacturing has ended.

Learn Additionally: Getting ready the sphere for Plantain Cultivation

  1. Sources of planting materials

A number of kinds of typical planting materials exist:

Peeper:a small sucker rising from the soil;

Sword sucker:a big sucker with lanceolated leaves, one of the best typical planting materials;

Maiden sucker:a big sucker with foliage leaves;

Bits:items of a chopped corm.

A brand new and most promising planting materials consists of in-vitro crops that are small maiden suckers produced from meristem tradition.

Planting materials might be collected from:

(a) An current subject, ideally an outdated subject which is changing into unproductive. In any other case harm to the roots could also be induced when the suckers are being dug out and many mom crops might later tip over.

(b) A multiplication plot, which is planted just for the manufacturing of suckers and not to produce bunches. Plant density (2 m x 2 m) is far larger than in manufacturing fields and suckers are obtained by both decapitation or false decapitation.

Each strategies include eradicating the rising level. Within the first technique, the pseudo-stem is eliminated to get to the rising level. Solely a small gap or window is reduce for the second technique.

The foliage can stay energetic for up to 3 months after the elimination of the meristem by the second technique.

(c) A tissue tradition laboratory, the place in vitro crops which appear like small maiden suckers are produced from meristems. In-vitro crops are wholesome, vigorous, and free from pests and illnesses (determine 4) and have an ideal future.

  1. Local weather

Plantains, like different bananas. Require a scorching and humid atmosphere. Ideally, the common air temperature must be about 30°C and rainfall at the very least 100 mm per thirty days. Rainfall must be properly distributed all year long and dry seasons must be as quick as doable.

Irrigation is just not appropriate nor economically worthwhile for plantains grown by the household farmer however might turn into mandatory when bigger fields are cultivated in areas with a protracted dry season.

  1. Mulch

Natural matter is crucial for plantain cultivation. Exterior sources of mulch can include elephant grass (Pennisetumpurpureum), which is wealthy in potassium, or cassava peelings, wooden shavings, palm bunch refuse, dried weeds, kitchen refuse, and so on.

Introduction to Plantains and their Environment

Gathering and transporting mulch are costly in time and labor. Probably the most handy supply consists of crops rising contained in the plantain fields in the event that they produce a substantial amount of natural matter with out competing with the plantains.

Appropriate mulch materials might be obtained from timber which had been slashed when the fields had been cleared and that are rising once more; or from a deep-rooted legume shrub referred to as Flemingiacongesta or F. macrophylla. F. congesta is seed drilled in the midst of the three m plantain alley. It may be troublesome to set up, however from the second yr onwards it grows vigorously. It could attain a peak of roughly 2.5 to 3 m if left unpruned, however within the subject it’s reduce 4 instances a yr to a peak of about 1.5 m.

The pruning’s are unfold over the soil. Flemingia is just not fertilized because it advantages from fastened nitrogen and leached fertilizers utilized to the plantains. Grass rising between the plantains is just not appropriate as a mulch supply as a result of it competes with the plantains.

  1. Fertilizer

The plantain crop all the time advantages from the usage of fertilizer (desk 1). The yield from fertilized crops might be up to 10 instances larger than that from unfertilized crops.

The quantity of fertilizer wanted is dependent upon soil fertility and soil kind. Basic suggestions can’t be made as these must be based mostly on soil or leaf evaluation and the outcomes of fertilizer experiments.

Since potassium and nitrogen are simply leached, they need to all the time be utilized at common intervals (break up functions) through the rising (wet) season.

Different necessary vitamins are phosphate, calcium and magnesium that are supplied in a single utility. In some distinctive circumstances, micro-nutrients (for instance, zinc or sulfur) have to be utilized.

Management Fertilizer Mulch Mulch + fertilizer
Plant crop 0.6 11.9 14.1 18.8
First ratoon 0.6 2.8 10.2 10.4
  1. 550 kg of potassium oxide and 300 kg of nitrogen per hectare
  2. 80 tons per hectare of Pennisetumpurpureum (elephant grass)
  3. Weed management

Weeds might be hand-pulled or chemically managed. Paraquat and simazine are acceptable herbicides since they management the weeds with out affecting the plantains, except leaves are by accident sprayed. Glyphosate, diuron and gramuron usually are not beneficial as they are often phytotoxic to plantains.

  1. Illness and pest management

Black sigatoka is the foremost illness attacking plantains; nematodes and stemborers are the foremost pests.

Black sigatoka is a leaf spot illness attributable to the fungus Mycosphaerel/afijiensis. All recognized plantain cultivars are prone to this wind-borne fungus. Leaves first present yellow spots which later flip brown and black.

Finally the leaf tissue turns into necrotic and dies. On this manner complete leaves turn into nonfunctional and in lots of circumstances, bearing crops are left with hardly any inexperienced leaves at maturity.

Photosynthesis is decreased and small bunches (typically with undeveloped fingers) are produced. Yield losses are estimated at between 30 and 50 p.c.

Black sigatoka might be managed with aerial functions of fungicides belonging to the teams of the benomyl, benzimi- dazoles, chlorothalonils, dithiocarbamates, flusilazoles, imazaliles, imidazoles, methylthiophanates, nuarimols, pro- chloraz, propiconazoles, triazoles and tridemorph, or soil- utilized fungicides similar to triadimefon and triadimenol.

In any case, at the very least two kinds of fungicide must be used alternately to forestall the fungus from creating resistance to the energetic ingredient.

Plantain cultivars resistant to black sigatoka present the one efficient technique of management because the fungicides are very costly and can pose well being hazards when utilized in backyards.

Breeding for resistance started on the one station of the Worldwide Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria throughout 1988. In the intervening time, cooking bananas (“Fougamou

1 “, “Bom”, “GiaHui”, “Foulah 4” and “Nzizi”) can be found from IITA as an alternative choice to plantain. These varieties are resistant to black sigatoka and might be ready and consumed in the identical methods as plantains.

Nematodes are minute worms which dwell within the soil and infest plant roots. A number of kinds of nematodes can extensively harm the plantain root system if the land was beforehand cropped with plantains or in the event that they had been launched with contaminated planting materials.

Nematodes impair the transport of vitamins and water to the primary stem, inflicting a discount in yield and weakening of the plant. In consequence, many crops could also be misplaced by means of tip-over at any time when winds turn into sturdy.

Nematodes might be managed by making use of nematicides in a circle, 25 cm in diameter, across the plant.

Learn Additionally: Weed Administration on Plantain Cultivation

A few of these nematicides are:

Nematicides Charge per plant (grams) No. of functions per yr
Isazophos 2.5 a.i. 3
Carbofuran 4.0 a.i. 3
Ethoprophos 4.5 a.i. 3
Phenamiphos 3.0 a.i. 3

a.i. = energetic ingredient

As carbofuran is successfully degraded by microorganisms, it must be used alternately with different nematicides.

The stem borer or banana weevil Cosmopolites sordid which normally lays its eggs close to the corm of the primary plant. The larvae assault the underground a part of the plant; feeding on the corm and boring channels in it Vegetation turn into very weak, particularly through the dry season, and tip over. Yield might be drastically decreased.

Stem borers might be managed by leaving the land beneath fallow, by the applying of espresso husks and by pesticides.

Nematicides Charge per plant (grams) No. of functions per yr
Isazophos 2.5 a.i. 3
HCH (50%) 40 c.p. 3
Chlordecone 1 a.i. 2
Isofenphos 1.2 a.i. 3
Aldicarbe 1.5 a.i. 3
Carbofuran 2 a.i 3

c.p = Business product a.i. = energetic ingredient

The price of pesticides ought to decide whether or not they need to be used. Using traps gives another technique for controlling banana weevils which is affordable however time-consuming and not as efficient as the usage of pesticides.

Traps are made by slicing pseudo-stems in half longitudinally and laying the items reduce aspect down on the soil close to the plantains. One entice for each 20 to 30 crops is the present follow. Traps must be inspected every day early within the morning.

The grownup black weevils are then retrieved from between the soil and the reduce floor of the pseudo-stem and killed. Traps stay efficient for about 1 or 2 weeks and are renewed at harvest when an ample provide of items of pseudo stem is accessible.

  1. Fallow

A subject that turns into unproductive must be left fallow when the plantain mats have been destroyed. Good outcomes might be obtained with the usage of kerosene, glyphosate or 2-4 0 however the plantain mats can solely be fully destroyed by hand. This ensures that no dwell materials stays to harbor pests and reinfect the sphere.

To revive fertility, the natural matter within the soil must be raised as excessive as doable through the fallow interval by planting an improved fallow (for instance, a leguminous cowl crop).

In any other case the fallow crop can include timber which had been reduce down at planting time and are rising again or of Flemingiacongesta which was grown between the plantain rows as a supply of mulch.

As well as to restoring fertility, the fallow crop ought to by itself fully eradicate every kind of weeds, particularly grasses. A grass fallow is just not appropriate as grass simply grows once more and turns into a noxious weed.

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