Thursday, September 12, 2013

Agripreneurs trained on plantain/banana production

Youths during banana/plantain training
Members of the IITA Youth in Agriculture project have been trained on banana and plantain production. The training, which involved 11 members of the group, was held on 23 January, and cut across the value chain of banana/plantain with the following themes: Why invest in plantains/banana? Setting up plantain/ banana macro-propagation and field cultivation, pests and diseases affecting the crop, and how to control them. Plantain (Musa spp.) are the green, starchy cousins of the banana. Unlike banana, plantains are not sweet and are eaten cooked, rather than raw. Originating in Southeast Asia, plantains are now grown in subtropical and tropical regions around the world.

The macro propagation of plantains/banana is a relatively easy technique that is carried out in a shed. It consists of generating suckers from clean planting material by removing the apical dominance which will generate about 30-40 suckers between 3 months. These techniques are simple and therefore easy to grasp, and cheap to establish with minimum investment in construction of propagators and weaning facilities.

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