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India


India at a glance

Map of India

Flag of India
Population[1]

1.31 billion

Gross Domestic Product[1]

2.1 trillion US$

Agriculture[2]

17.4% of GDP

Total land area[3]

297 million hectares

Cultivated land[3]

179.8 million hectares

Banana production area[4]

796,000 hectares

Total banana production[4]
27.5 million metric tonnes

India is the largest producer of bananas. It produces more bananas in a year than the rest of the world produces for export. Most of the bananas grown in India are for the domestic market. Even though more than half of the bananas produced in India are Cavendish types, the country is host to a wide diversity of bananas.

Banana-producing areas

The major banana growing states are in the northeastern and southern parts of the country. Tamil Nadu has the largest area followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Tamil Nadu also ranks first in production, followed by Maharashtra, but the highest productivity is recorded in Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra's high productivity is the result of growing in monocultures high-yielding Cavendish clones, coupled with the adoption of improved technologies such as high density planting and the use of tissue-culture planting material[5].

Production systems

Bananas are both grown in homestead gardens and cultivated commercially on large areas. Commercial production is largely dependant on irrigation whereas subsistence cultivation is practiced under rain-fed conditions.

More than 20 types of bananas are grown, such as Poovan, which is mostly grown in the south, Rasthali, Nendran, Karpuravalli, Kunnan, Ney Poovan, Thella Chakkara Keli and Monthan. Pisang Awak has been adopted in the marginal lands of Bihar, West Bengal, and in the northeastern states[5].

Main types of bananas by importance of production.
Main types of bananas by importance of production.
Main types of bananas by cultivated area.
Main types of bananas by cultivated area.
Source: 2009 country paper on banana in India [5]

Post-harvest

Post-harvest losses are estimated to be 8-9% at farmer’s level, 20-25% at wholeseller’s level and 15% at retailer’s level[4].

Processing

Banana can be processed into different value-added products. Banana puree is used in dairy products, bakery, beverage and baby food. Banana flour is increasingly used in foods like chapathies and bread.

Plantains are usually processed into chips and the peel can be used in pickles. The male bud can also be pickled. The process has been transferred to several entrepreneurs for commercialization.

References

1. 2015 data from the World Bank
2. 2014 data from the World Bank
5. Singh, H.P. 2009. Country Paper on Banana in India in: Molina, A.B., Baroña, M.L.J., Sinohin, V.G.O. and Generoso, J.D., editors. Advancing Banana and Plantain R&D in Asia and The Pacific: Proceedings of the 6th BAPNET Steering Committee meeting in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India 22-25 October 2008. pp. 38-58.

See also on this website

BAPNET - Banana Asia-Pacific Network
Musapedia pages on banana-producing countries: