Thursday, 14 July 2016


 Plantains are similar in appearance and requirements to bananas. They are taller and bear fewer, larger fruits which when ripe store thier reserves as starch, hence they must cooked before they are eaten.
 Many varietes are grown in West Africa, but these vary in size, shape and number of fruits to the bunch. The best varietes in Ogede Senior, Paranta and so on.
  Plantain is a staple food in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Dahomey and Liberia. It is eaten unripe by roasting it as thin slices in oil,  and is known as 'Ipekere’ in Nigeria or by boiling it and then beating it into fufu. A flour rich in protien can also be made from plantain.
  Suckers are planted at begining of the rains in deep holes 3-4.5m apart. The plants should be weeded for the first four months. It is advisable to plant in the month of June. It will bring fruits in next six months.A plant can bear fruits for 4-5 years.
  Yield can be increased with organic manure or by the application of fertilizers. A mixture of 566 g each of sulphate  of ammonia and triple superphosphate and 453 g of sulphate of potash applied to each plant every  si x months during the first year after after field planting and every three months during the next three years has doubled yields in Kade, Ghana.
 A heavily yield plant may have to be propped with forked poles. Yields of 700 to 100 bunches per ha have been recorded on Ministry of Agriculture farms in Nigeria.
 Plantains are attacked by the same diseases and pests as bananas. The burrowing nematode atfacks its roots and rhizomes and will reduce its life span.
  Fiels control is difficult. The use of disease-free planting mateeial is recommended. Infected Suckers can be dipped in recommended nematicides before  planting.

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