How to prepare Plantain Suckers for Planting

Suckers are separated from their mother plant with a spade or machete. The sucker corm must not be damaged or chipped.

Consequently the corm should be carefully peeled with a machete. The pseudo stem of the suckers should be cut off a few centimeters above the corm.

Peeling of the corm delays the development of nematode infestation, while cutting of the pseudo stem reduces bulkiness and improves early growth of the newly planted sucker.

The peeling process is just like that for cassava. A freshly peeled healthy corm ought to look white, but corms infected by stem borers and nematodes show brown and black spots which have to be removed until only white tissue remains.

If the infestation is severe, with many brown and black spots, the sucker should be destroyed.

Sucker preparation (peeling) is carried out in the field where the planting material is collected. This is to avoid contamination of the new field with roots infested with nematodes or corms with stem borers.

Prepared corms are transported to their destination where they are left to dry for a few days (not in the sun). Suckers have to be planted within two weeks.

Storage of suckers for more than 2 weeks will adversely affect future yields.

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Author: Benadine

A Practical Farmer, An Agric. Consultant, An Author and A Model.

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