Plantain is a staple crop grown throughout the tropics. In Africa, plantain and Banana are also an important source of carbohydrate in the diet of more than 70 million people. Plantain is also an important source of revenue for farmers who produce the crop in small-scale field plantations and Backyards.
Backyard soil is very rich in organic matter and nutrients from household refuse which is dumped there.
Such gar-dens are permanently in use for plantains which grow there luxuriantly, become very large and produce heavy bunches. They grow in groups or clusters as each bearing plant produces many suckers which are not pruned out.
Human activity is limited to manuring, propping and harvesting.
Since the demand and thus the price for this crop are continuously increasing, many farmers want to grow more plantains in order to raise their income.
However, backyards cannot be readily extended since they are enclosed by houses or fences. The only way, therefore, to expand production is to grow plantains in fields at some distance from the village.
In most cases such field-grown plantains are very poorly maintained. The result is a very modest yield from the first year onwards.
Different methods of cultivation should accompany the change in site to achieve and sustain high-level yields for several years.