Banana is one of the most consumed fruits in the world for. Some like it fried, stewed, boiled, mashed, juiced or just simply as it is. The banana is loved by humans and money alike. Rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, B6, iron, niacin and antioxidants, this fruit is a nutrient powerhouse and is highly recommended by doctors and traditional herbalists.
The potassium in the fruit helps to keep blood pressure constant therefore being beneficial to the heart. Also in the fruit is magnesium helps in relaxation of the muscles while vitamin B6 helps one to have good gums and a better quality of sleep. Other less known advantages of banana consumption include; vision improvement, stronger bones and even weight loss. Bananas are also considered by some to be starchy foods, which can be used to give energy.
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Let’s find largest banana producing countries in world
The top banana producing nation is inarguably India which has a year-long production of the fruit. The fruit does not stop growing in certain seasons, unlike other fruits and crops which are limited to certain times of the year. India produces a staggering 27,575,000 tons of bananas each year. The fruit is grown in the Indian states of: Gujarat, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Andu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The variety of bananas grown in India includes: Poovan Nendran, Robusta and Dwarf Cavendish. The conditions required for optimum yields are volcanic soils or alluvial soils. This is because bananas grow best in fertile lands. The temperature must also be taken into consideration when planting the crop. Bananas do best in a temperature range of 10 degree Celsius to 40 degree Celsius. The best temperature is above the 24 degree Celsius mark.
With a production capacity of 12,075,238 bananas yearly, the second yellow republic is China. It has five major provinces that produce bananas. The five provinces are; Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, the island of Hainan and the Fujian. Out of these five provinces, it is only the island of Hainan that enjoys a tropical climate and great humidity that is suitable for banana production. South and South-west Hainan province is known as the Golden Corridor area for banana cultivation. Bananas are one of the most important fruits in China. It is responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs has helped the country earn millions of dollars through exports.
The East African country is ranked third in this list as it produces 9.8 million tons which account for 7% of the world’s total. Bananas are the country’s staple food and more than 75% of Ugandan farmers grow the crop. 68% of banana cultivation was done in West Uganda, followed by the Central region, the Eastern Region and the Northern region. The main types of bananas cultivated include: East African highland banana, “Sukali Ndizi”, plantain cultivars and “Bogoya”. The bananas are either fried, roasted, eaten as a stew (matoke) or eaten raw. The plant is used mainly by locals but is also exported.
4. The Philippines
One of the largest exporters of bananas in Asia, at a production capacity of 8,645,749 tons, is the Philippines. 80% of banana cultivation is concentrated in provinces such as Davao, Bukidnon, Northern Mindanao and others. The main types of bananas that are grown in the Philippines are the Cavendish, the Saba and the Lacatan. The number of hectares that have been set aside for the purpose of banana cultivation is 415,000 hectares. The banana is grown locally for local use and therefore plays a critical role in maintaining food security in the Philippines. In addition to the creation of jobs in the country, the crop is a significant source of foreign exchange for the nation. The exports are 1.6 million tons and comprise 9% of the world’s total exports.
This country accounts for roughly 10% of the world’s banana production, with a production capacity of 6,892,622 tons. Production of bananas has been increasing steadily thereby changing Brazil’s position in the banana production list. In 2000, Brazil was fourth in the list after India, Ecuador, and Uganda. In 2006, Brazil was second after India. Most of the bananas that are cultivated in Brazil are consumed domestically. The nation has increased its exportation of the crop from 12,500 tons to more than 220,000. The bananas are usually exported to Uruguay and Argentina. The main types of bananas cultivated in Brazil are Cavendish, apple and fruit bananas. Bananas are mostly produced in the state of Sao Paulo. Other areas are: Prata, Vitoria, Belo Horizonte and Florianopolis.
Ecuador is one of the top banana producing countries. It is at number five with an annual production of 5,995,527 tons, which is basically 5% of the world’s output as of 2012. Bananas are mostly grown on private plantations. The production of bananas in Ecuador can be affected by trade and environmental regulations, the opinions of society and consumption standard of the world. Ecuador exports more than 4 million tons each year (29% of the world’s export) and is thus the highest exporter of bananas in the world. In 2000, banana exportation in Ecuador was at 3,993,968 metric tons which were 55% of the country’s GDP. The largest importer of Ecuadorian bananas is the United States and the European Union.
In the seventh place is Indonesia with an annual production of 6.2 million tons and comprises 4% of the global output. The main banana producing areas are: Java, which accounts for 68% of the country’s overall production. The main banana type is the Cavendish variety – it is very popular in the country. Other banana growing areas are: Ngrupit, Pulung and Bungkal Porogo. The hectares of land relegated to banana cultivation are 74,751. Bananas in Indonesia have been hit with some challenges, the most serious being a disease. The Indonesian government has made steps into ensuring that bananas are not affected by the disease as was the case before.
At an annual production of 5.3 million tons which comprises, 4% of the world’s global output, Colombia is ranked eighth. 70% of banana cultivation is done in Antioquia which is in the north western region of the country; in Uraba AND Magdalena mostly. The land that is devoted to banana production is 477,000 hectares. The main variety of banana planted in Colombia is Fusarium wilt and Gros Michelin 2012, banana exports were at 16.5 million tons, which is 10% of the world’s total.
Coming in nine, is Cameroon, raking in 4.9 million tons of bananas yearly, and comprising 3% of global output. The second largest African exporter of bananas had exports worth 246,000 tons, the largest being Cote d’Ivoire. Cameroon has set aside 359,864 hectares of land on which banana cultivation is done. Banana exportation is a big boost to Cameroon’s economy, so much so that the nation recognized and privatized the industry in 1987.
In the tenth position is Ghana which has an annual production of 3.6 million tons and comprises 3% of the world’s total output. There are 347,000 hectares of land dedicated solely to banana cultivation. The main bananas grown in Ghana are the plantains and the dessert bananas. This industry has created thousands of jobs in the country.
Overall, the banana fruit is one of the best starchy fruits on the planet, with amazing nutrients. It has many varieties which all beneficial to the body. The banana can be prepared in a variety of ways to suit one’s preference and there are ways that may end up damaging the nutrients. Proper conditions must be maintained in order for the crop to grow. In addition to being consumed locally, bananas are major export products and have enriched their home countries’ GDP. The cultivation of bananas has led to the creation of millions of jobs, reducing unemployment which is a sweet reward.