Plantain’s Planting Period (PPP)

Plantains can be planted throughout the rainy season. However, they should grow vigorously and without stress during the first 3 to 4 months after planting, and therefore they should not be planted during the last months of the rainy season. Planting with the first rains seems agronomically sound but not financially advantageous. Most farmers will plant at the onset of the rains, causing the market to be flooded with bunches 9 to 12 months after planting, when prices will be very low. Planting in the middle of the rainy season…

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Weed Management on Plantain Cultivation

Weeds can be hand-pulled or chemically controlled. Paraquat and simazine are appropriate herbicides since they control the weeds without affecting the plantains, unless leaves are accidentally sprayed. Glyphosate, diuron and gramuron are not recommended as they can be phytotoxic to plantains. Plantains should always be weed-free. Weed control starts during field preparation. Weeds are initially controlled about every 6 to 8 weeks; but when the plantain canopy closes, about 5 to 6 months after planting, weed infestation declines due to shading. Any plant with a superficial root system should be…

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Plantain Propping

The heavy weight of the plantain bunch bends all bearing plants and can cause doubling (pseudo stem breaks), snap- off (corm breaks, leaving a part in the ground) or uprooting, also called tip-over (the entire corm with roots comes out of the ground). Plants are generally weak during the dry season and strong winds, nematodes and stem borers also increase the rate of loss. For these reasons, bearing plants always need support from 1 or 2 wooden props, usually made of bam- boo. If a piece of bamboo is used,…

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Plantain Planting Materials

Several types of conventional planting material exist which includes: Peeper: a small sucker emerging from the soil. Sword sucker: a large sucker with lanceolated leaves also known as the best conventional planting material. Maiden sucker: This is a large sucker with foliage leaves. Bits: These are pieces of a chopped corm. A new and most promising planting material consists of in-vitro plants which are small maiden suckers produced from meristem culture. Planting material can be collected from: (a) An existing field, preferably an old field which is becoming unproductive. Otherwise…

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Plantain Mulching

Organic matter is essential for plantain cultivation . External sources of mulch can consist of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), which is rich in potassium, or cassava peelings, wood shavings, palm bunch refuse, dried weeds, kitchen refuse, and so on. Collecting and transporting mulch are expensive in time and labor. The most convenient source consists of plants growing inside the plantain fields if they produce a great deal of organic matter without competing with the plantains. Suitable mulch material can be obtained from trees which were slashed when the fields were…

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