• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Foreword
 Introduction
 Cultivars
 Common names
 Management practices
 Major pests and control method...
 Special practices
 Nutritional value and uses
 Recipes
 Back Cover






Group Title: Farmers bulletin
Title: Growing banana and plantain in the Virgin Islands
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096181/00001
 Material Information
Title: Growing banana and plantain in the Virgin Islands
Series Title: Farmers bulletin - University of the Virgin Islands ; 11
Physical Description: 20 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ramcharan, Christopher
George, Clinton
University of the Virgin Islands
Publisher: University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Kingshill, St. Croix, USVI
Publication Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1999
 Subjects
Subject: Bananas -- Virgin Islands   ( lcsh )
Plantain banana -- Virgin Islands   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 20).
General Note: "July 1999."
Statement of Responsibility: by Christopher Ramcharan and Clinton George.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00096181
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 46968805

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Foreword
        Page 3
    Introduction
        Page 4
    Cultivars
        Page 5
    Common names
        Page 6
    Management practices
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Major pests and control methods
        Page 10
    Special practices
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Nutritional value and uses
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Recipes
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text




,

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I a;lncI" .- I I, I ii ll Nu. I I


. ta;i. .,I tile \ irgi i Islands


oI o







GROWING BANANA

AND PLANTAIN

IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS


by
Dr. Christopher Ramcharan
Research Associate Professor
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station
and
Clinton George
Program Leader
Agriculture & Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service



Farmers Bulletin No. 11
July 1999



Layout & Design:
Clarice C. Clarke
Public Information Specialist
UVI Cooperative Extension Service


Editorial Committee:
Clarice C. Clarke
Ruby R. Mason
Manuel Palada, Ph.D.
Erika J. Waters, Ph.D.
Marvin E. Williams
Thomas W. Zimmerman, Ph.D.



Copies available from:
University of the Virgin Islands .,
Agricultural Experiment Station
RR02 Box 10,000 I
Kingshill, St. Croix, USVI 00850
(340) 692-4020


Clinton George, Agriculture & Natural Resources Program
Leader, examines the maturity and quality of a banana
bunch.


Dwarf Cavendish.









Contents


Foreword 3

Introduction 4

Origin and Description 4

Cultivars 5

Common Names 6

Management Practices 7

Major Pests and
Control Methods 10


Special Practices 11

Nutritional Value and Uses 13

Recipes 16


Aberra Bulbulla, UVI-AES Research Analyst with a 95 lb. Goldfinger
bunch (FHIA-01)(right) and a 35 lb. Bacuba bunch (left).







FOREWORD


For agriculture to be successful in the Virgin Islands, it must be productive while preserving our
natural resources. The Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service with their
research and outreach capabilities can help our farmers achieve both these objectives. To meet the
information/problem-solving needs of our part-time and commercial farmers, the Agricultural Experiment
Station and the Cooperative Extension Service has published many factsheets and bulletins. This
publication, Growing Banana and Plantain in the Virgin Islands, is the latest joint effort in this series.

The banana and plantain, both edible and usually seedless, are very popular fruits throughout the
Caribbean including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The banana, in particular, is grown by many
small-scale growers for home consumption and the local market.

Bananas are most commonly used as ripe dessert fruits, but, in the green form, they can be cooked
in various ways. Like plantains, they can be boiled, steamed, roasted, baked, fried, or even fermented to
make beer or vinegar. In the Virgin Islands, plantains and green bananas are a major constituent of the
diet of several ethnic groups.

Both banana and plantain are a good source of potassium while being low in sodium. A high intake of
sodium has always been implicated with hypertension, a chronic disease that afflicts many Virgin Islanders.
Bananas are high in Vitamin A, C and B,; plantains are also rich in Vitamin A.

Over the years, the Agricultural Experiment Station has conducted problem-directed research on
banana and plantain. Most of this valuable information, however, has been published as research papers
in scientific journals and has, therefore, been inaccessible to our local growers.

The Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service are, indeed, happy to
have researched and published information on this tropical food crop of economic and intrinsic local
value. The purpose of this publication is to provide small growers, especially home gardeners, with
research-based information on the production, cultivation, and maintenance practices (including pruning,
cropping, deflowering, and desuckering) for bananas and plantains. Additionally, Growing Banana and
Plantain in the Virgin Islands provides description, cultivars, nutritional value and uses, as well as great
tasting English and Spanish recipes. I hereby urge all Virgin Islanders to enjoy this information and try
the recipes presented in this bulletin.



James E. Rakocy, Ph.D.
Director
University of the Virgin Islands
Agricultural Experiment Station







INTRODUCTION


Bananas and plantains are major food crops
in the Virgin Islands. Although imported ripe
bananas are a major supermarket fruit item, green
bananas and plantains are also important staple
foods used in different ways by Virgin Islanders.
Most of the bananas and plantains consumed in ,_l ', y
the Virgin Islands are imported from Central and
South America and other Caribbean islands. In
1990, 661,017 kgs (1,457,500 Ibs) were imported
from Latin American countries and 60,445 kgs
(133,300 Ibs) from the Caribbean. This
represented a farm value of $317,400. However,
good growing conditions for banana and plantain
production exist in the Virgin Islands and the
demand for these crops always exceed the limited
supply.
After citrus fruits, banana is the most important ,
fruit in world trade...extensively grown in gardens
for home consumption or the local market, but ,'
also on large plantations for the export market. -
The crop may be grown in monoculture or in a
mixed cropping system. In the Virgin Islands, .-
banana and plantain can be successfully
intercropped with cassava, pigeon peas and
another popular fruit papaya.
Dr. Christopher Ramcharan, U VI-AES Research Associate
Bananas and plantains also play an important Professor with a 95 ib. Goldfinger bunch.
role in environmental conservation. Their large
majestic leaves form closed canopy shading,
protecting the soil from erosion and the destructive
effects of direct sunlight which can be intensive
in the Virgin Islands.



ORIGIN AND DESCRIPTION


The banana and plantain originated in Southeast Asia, with Eastern Malaysia and the Philippine
Islands considered the primary areas. Banana and plantain belong to the family Musaceae. They are
large monocotyledonous plants with succulent pseudostems or false stems, built up from leaf sheaths;
the leaves form in a spiral and new leaves and flowers emerge through the pseudostem from an
underground true stem or corm.

Musa is monocarpic, that is, it produces a single shoot flowers only once and dies after it has borne
fruit. However, the whole plant is perennial as the corm's life is perpetuated by suckers; a whole clump
of plants may thus develop. The banana fruit is a berry and is described as parthenocarpic, that is, it







contains many undeveloped ovules, but no seeds. These are the blade specks found in the center of
banana fruits. In contrast to the bunch, which grows down, the fruit curves upwards. A fruit cluster is
generally called a "hand" and a single fruit a "finger." They differ from cultivar to cultivar in characteristics
such as shape, size, color of skin and flavor. A good bunch usually consists of eight hands each containing
15 fingers, with an average finger weight of 150 g (0.33 Ibs), fruit weight of 18 kg (39.6 Ibs), and the entire
bunch weight of about 20 kg (44.1 Ibs).

Most bananas and plantains descended from a wild ancestor Musa acuminata. The plantains also
carry genes of another wild ancestor Musa balbisiana. These are represented by the genomes A and B,
respectively. The edible bananas are triploids that are described as AAA; in other words they carry three
sets of chromosomes derived from M. acuminata. The plantains and other cooking bananas are generally
hybrid triploids and represented as either AAB or ABB.



CULTIVARS (VARIETIES)

Banana:
The varieties or cultivars (cvs) of banana recommended for planting in the Virgin Islands (V.I.) and
their agronomic characteristics are shown in Table
1. Most cultivars belong to the AAA group and
the Cavendish sub group, which are normally
resistant to fusarium wilt disease. The Cavendish
group, however, is susceptible to nematodes. This
problem can be controlled with the appropriate
selection of suckers, the use of nematicides, and -
the use of tissue-culture starting material.

The most adaptable varieties for the soil and
climatic conditions in the V.I. are the giant and
dwarf Cavendish and the recently introduced FHIA
cvs. This is because of their relatively high yields
and tolerance to the windy conditions of the
islands. Another advantage of using these
cultivars is the possibility of obtaining seedling W
material from tissue culture. Through this
technique of propagation, the farmer can now
obtain disease and pest-free material in larger
quantities, fairly rapidly. Tissue cultured plants
also give more uniform growth and fruiting.

Plantain:
Plantain cvs recommended for the V.I. with their
agronomic characteristics are also shown in Table
1. The most adapted are the dwarf types not only
because of their wind resistance, but also for their
high yields. Research at the University of the
Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station
(UVI-AES) demonstrated that the dwarf varieties
are more resistant to iron (Fe) and potassium (K)
deficiency problems, induced by the high pH soils. French plantain.







The dwarf French plantain was selected from a batch of tissue cultured plants. It is highly prolific and has
proven to be best suited for local conditions. At UVI-AES, yields in excess of 46 tons and 200,000 fingers
per ha have been achieved.


Other common names of banana
and plantain varieties
are as follows:


Banana

Robusta = Pisang Buai, Saina, Porto Rique,
Poyo, Grande Naine de la Montagna.

Giant Cavendish = Giant Chinese, Giant
Governor, Grande Naine, Gigante Enano,
Williams Hybrid.

Dwarf Cavendish = Chinese, Dwarf Bacuba.
Chinese, Canary, Pigmeo, Governor, Petite
Naine, Guineo Enano.

Lady's Finger = Pisang Mas, Sucrier, Honey,
Figue Sucree, de Rosa.

Silk = Pisang Rastali, Apple, Manzana, Silk Fig,
Figue Pomme, Bacuba.

Goldfinger = FHIA-01.


Plantain

Horn Plantain = Platano Comun, P.
Cuarenteno, P. Maricongo, P. Macho, P. Harton,
Liberal, Horse Plantain.

French Plantain -= Platano Congo, Maiden
Plantain, May Plantain, Green French Plantain,
Creole Plantain, Common Plantain.

Dwarf Plantain = Platano Enano, Banana Cochon.

Dwarf French Plantain = Congo Enano.

Cooking Banana


Moko =Bluggoe, Saba, Chamaluco,Buccament,
Mafoubay, Malango. FHIA-03 Moko type (cooking banana).







MANAGEMENT PRACTICES


Soil and Climate:
Banana and plantain are tropical crops and grow best at 80.60F and stop growing at 100.40F.
However, either will tolerate a minimum temperature of about 64.40F. Higher temperatures cause
sun-scorch. Chilling injury occurs at temperatures below 53.60F, when sap or latex in the leaves
coagulates.

The minimum amount of water needed for good growth is 1650 mm/year (65 in.) well-distributed
during the year. In the V.I., where the annual average rainfall is about 1016 mm/year (40 in.) and
unevenly distributed, it is critical to apply water during the dry season. Planting during the rainy
season (September November) is
recommended, but can be done at any time of
the year with adequate irrigation.

A wide range of soils is suitable to grow
banana and plantain provided good drainage,
adequate fertility and moisture are provided. The
clay content should usually be below 40 percent.
Other critical factors are soil structure, depth -
and absence of toxic substances. The banana
root is fragile, cannot stand stagnant water and
must grow in a well-aerated, yet moist -
environment; absence of rocks, good soil A. .
structure and porosity are also essential
features. Although banana and plantain are (
tolerant of pH in the range of 4.5 8.0, the best l
growth is found from pH 6 to 7.5.

Selection and Preparation of Seedlings:
The seedling (or sucker) that is selected will
ultimately determine the yield and hence the
need to select the best available suckers. It is
also important to select suckers from a mother
plant that produced a large bunch free of
diseases or other problems. Ideally,
swordsuckers of at least 1 kg weight and 30 cm
in girth (circumference) should be selected.

After selection, suckers should be thoroughly
cleaned with the removal of all necrotic (dead)
areas and red spots which may harbor
nematos or corem so. w s crb The Super Plantain is intermediate in size between the true
nematodes or corm borer larvae. It is critical French and Maricongo (Horse) plantains.
that this procedure be performed far away from
the transplanting area. Finally, suckers can be
immersed in a solution of an appropriate
insecticide before planting. For more details
contact your extension agent at University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service (UVI-
CES). This cleaning procedure is critical for all planting material except in the case of tissue cultured
plantlets. Tissue cultured propagated material is pest and disease free, therefore, it may well worth
the extra time and cost involved in using this method for planting.
7







Site Preparation and Planting:
Land preparation usually consists of ploughing and
disking, after which soil samples for pH and nutrients
status analysis should be taken. In areas of the V.I.
with a shallow topsoil and a caliche subsoil, care should
be taken to avoid deep ploughing so as not to bring up
the calcareous subsoil which can later result in high
pH-induced iron chlorosis (yellowing).

The size of the planting hole should be proportional h
to the size of the suckers, but 40 cm deep by 30 cm
wide is usually used. Research at UVI-AES has shown
that for large-scale production, the use of a tractor for
digging holes could be more economical although this
method of hole preparation did not improve yields. For
poorly drained soils it is recommended that a portion
of the pseudostem of the sucker be above soil level at
planting so as to prevent rotting of the rhizome.

For plantains, a planting distance of 1.85 m (6 ft.)
(between rows) x 1.8 5m (6 ft.) (between plants) to give
a population of 1200 plants per acre is generally "
recommended while for bananas a distance of 1.85 m .d
(6 ft.) (between rows) x 2.4 m (8ft.) (between plants)
with a plant population of 800 plants per acre is
adequate. Planting bananas in an integrated sustainable
system.
Irrigation:
For semiarid areas like the V.I., the use of trickle irrigation for small acreages or even backyard plantings
is critical. This method conserves water by applying adequate amounts just around the roots of the plant.
It also restricts the spread of soil-related banana diseases and nematodes, and since it does not wet the
foliage as in overhead irrigation, the trickle system also controls leaf spot. Trickle irrigation can also be
used to efficiently apply fertilizers and, if needed, pesticides. A simple low-input chemigation system for
bananas and other fruit crops has also been developed at UVI-AES. In general, 1/2 to 1 gallon per plant
is adequate when water is supplied by trickle irrigation but this must be applied on a daily basis. Recently,
an elevated microsprinkler irrigation system for bananas and plantains has been developed at UVI-AES,
and preliminary results have so far indicated it is superior to the traditional trickle system.

Fertilization:
As with all crops, fertilizer recommendations for banana and plantain must be related with the nutrient
status of the soil. It is therefore important to take soil samples during land preparation. It is also critical
to augment the soil analysis with foliar analysis as a guide to determining nutrient deficiencies and toxicities
and in planning a fertilizer program. For more information about how to collect a soil sample, contact your
extension agent. Generally, a soil that is neither too acidic nor alkaline, rich in organic matter, with a high
nitrogen (N) content, an adequate phosphate (P) level and abundant potassium (K), is ideal for growing
banana and plantain. The importance of K to the nutrition of banana is evident by the high concentration
found in all the plant tissues. K represents approximately 33 to 38 percent of the ash in plant tissue and
60 to 64 percent in the fruit.

The major nutritional problem in the V. I. are the K and iron (Fe) deficiencies. K deficiency is characterized
by leaf-margin necrosis, and Fe deficiency initially by a general yellow leaf chlorosis, that intensifies to
almost white as the Fe deficiency increases. For most soils in the V.I., 226 g (7.9 oz.) of a 10-5-20 fertilizer







mix per plant every 4 .
months is recommended.
The first application should
occur after sucker
germination and be placed
around the pseudostem.
The next application should
be broadcast to cover the
outer area from the
pseudostem to the drip line
of the leaves. It is also
important to incorporate
about 3-5 kg (6.6-11.0 Ibs.)
of well-rotted manure into
the planting holes. Since
local soils are usually low High pH-induced iron chlorosis (yellowing) in banana.
in organic matter content
and cation exchange capacity, the incorporation of manure at planting is critical.

Weed Control:
The damaging effects of weeds in most crops are well known: they compete with the crop plants for
nutrients, water and light; they may harbor pests and diseases; they may produce chemicals which are
toxic to the crop; and lastly, they may create difficulties with managing or harvesting the crop. In many
areas the high cost of labor makes hand weeding uneconomical, and chemical weed control has become
an integral part of banana and plantain production although manual weeding will continue to be used on
small holdings and where bananas are grown as a subsistence crop. But there may be certain
disadvantages to manual weeding besides the cost. Bananas have shallow roots, and hoeing, particularly
around young plants, may be injurious to roots and may damage trickle irrigation lines. The use of herbicides
in bananas has only become widespread since about 1960. Research has shown that a number of
herbicides are suitable for use in bananas, and the grower should contact the Cooperative Extension
Service for recommendations for his/her area, as these depend on the products available, the soil
conditions, and the local weed flora.

Finally, mulching with organic materials
including grass, other landscape clippings
and the pruning materials of the banana
plant itself is an indispensable part of the
overall cultural operations. Mulching
suppresses weeds, particularly around
young plants, and after decomposition
adds critical organic matter to the soil. At
UVI-AES, superior yields have been
obtained with an integration of production
practices. These include minimum tillage
operations, a judicious use of herbicides
and an elevated microsprinkler system.
Banana grown wth an elevated micro-sprinkler system.







MAJOR PESTS AND CONTROL METHODS


I n the Virgin Islands there are four major pest problems which affect banana and plantain. Of these,
the banana root nematode and the banana root borer are responsible for over 30 percent yield reduction.

Banana Root Nematode:
The banana root nematode Radopholus similis can cause damage commonly referred to as root
rot, blackhead disease and toppling disease. They enter healthy roots from the soil and feed on cells of
the cortex (bark) resulting in root cavities and tunnels. Initial symptoms are small, elongated lesions
which eventually coalesce (grow together) to form an overall dark patch on the root which can be seen if
the outer layer of the corm is trimmed off. Small fruit size, number reduction and stunted plants are also
common symptoms. Occasionally, leaf chlorosis (yellowing) is observed on infested plants which is an
indication of nutritional deficiencies associated with root destruction. Burrowing nematode control involves
two basic approaches: planting of nematode-free corms in fallowed soil and the application of soil
nematocides to already infested plants.

Banana Root Borer:
The banana root borer or banana corm weevil as it is commonly known is Cosmopolites sordidus.
Common symptoms include dull yellow-green limpid leaves. Infested suckers often wither and fail to
develop. In high winds that often occur locally, more than an average number of plants are blown down
at times with severe losses due to weak and poorly developed roots from weevil larvae feeding and
tunnelling in the rhizome of the plant.

This pest spreads in two ways: via planting material from infested plants or by adult weevils crawling
from infested areas; hence the critical need for clean, healthy planting material. Areas previously
infested should not be planted while the old corms remain or where sufficient time has not lapsed for
the elimination of adult weevils after old corms have been removed. There are registered chemical
insecticides recommended for treating this pest. For further information you can call UVI Cooperative
Extension Service. The newly introduced FHIA cvs are tolerant to both nematodes and weevil
infestation.

Fusarium Wilt Disease:
This soilborne disease, also called Panama disease, is caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.
cubense which enters the plant through the roots. The fungus blocks the vascular system causing
the plant to wilt. The initial symptoms are yellowing of the older leaves or a collapse of the petioles
(slender leaf stem) causing all the leaves to eventually die. Internally, there is a characteristic
discoloration of the vascular bundles of the pseudostem which when cut has a rotten smell. Although
the traditional cavendish cvs have been resistant to Panama disease there have been recent reports
of their susceptibility to race(strain) 4 of the fungus. In anticipation of widespread infection and
decline of the cavendish cvs, the tolerant FHIA cvs have been bred in Honduras and distributed
worldwide, including the V.I., for evaluation studies.







SPECIAL PRACTICES


Pruning:
Pruning or desuckering aims at maintaining a balance between plant vegetative growth and yield and
assists in the production of large quality banana or plantain bunches. The system of one mother plant
with a bunch and one follower or daughter sucker is usually recommended. A third plant, which should be
a follower of the daughter, not of the mother, is allowed to remain only after the main mother-inflorescence
has appeared. Pruning consists of cutting back the unwanted suckers, particularly those around the
fruiting mother plant, to ground level, removing the heart (center) and pouring a few drops of kerosene
into the cavity formed.

If farmers prefer to remove suckers, the daughter follower can be dug up when approximately three-
quarters of their field has been harvested. Indiscriminate removal of suckers, particularly when the mother
plant is fruiting, can be harmful to bunch
development and is not recommended. Recent
research has also recommend pruning off of the
terminal male flower inflorescence for fuller
development of the terminal hands of the bunch. u:h
All yellow and hanging dried leaves should be
removed soon after flowering or whenever there
is a heavy leaf spot infection. After each harvest,
psuedostems of the harvested plants must be cut
down, cut up and the trash aligned between the
plant rows. Diseased leaves should never be used
for mulching.


Propping:
Propping serves to protect bearing plants from
toppling and wind damage. It is necessary
because the weight of the bunch is apt to pull the
plant out of balance. Two props forming a triangle
are better than one. Care must be taken so that
the props do not bruise the bunch. In the Virgin
Islands, cut stems of manjack and kenip have
proven to be the most durable and termite-free
banana prop materials.

In general, bananas and plantains can be
produced year-round in the Virgin Islands and are
adapted to a family-type operation providing a
steady source of income. With the adequate
application of soil nutrients, irrigation and proper
cultural techniques, crops can be grown
successfully even under alkaline soil conditions Propping serves to protect bearing plants from toppling
and are adapted to a moderate level of technology and wind damage
with relatively little investment in machinery and
equipment.







Table 1


Growth and Yield Characteristics of Banana and Plantain Grown on St. Croix, USVI


Height at
Flowering (m)


Stem Width at
Flowering (cm)


Bunch
Wt. kg (Ibs)


# Fruits/
Bunch


Estimated
Yield
Tons/ha Tons/ac


Banana


Robusta(AAA)
Valery(AAA)
Giant
Cavendish(AAA)
Dwarf
Cavendish(AAA)
Silk (AAB)
Goldfinger (AAAB)


12.2
13.5
16.5

16.0

13.5
45.0


17.8

15.0

20.8
19.0


French Plantain 3.3
(AAB)
Horn Plantain 3.2
(AAB)
Dwarf Hom(AAB) 2.4
Dwarf French(AAB) 1.9


Cooking Banana
14.0 1


Moko (ABB)
FHIA-03(AABB)


Plantain


15 (33)
10(22)
17.5 (38.5)

15 (33)

15.2 (33.4)
25.0 (55)


18.0 (39.6)


111
86
139

105

85
90


30
20
35

30

30.4
50


92 36


9.2 (20.2) 35 18.4

13.7 (30.1) 57 27.4
26.5 (58.3) 130 53


5.7 (34.5)
1.5 (47.3)


82 31.4
86 43


12
8
14

12

12.1
20


14.4


10.9
21.2


12.6
7.2


Cultivar


2


42.0







NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND USES


The role of banana and plantain is becoming more important with the increasing emphasis today on
diets that are low in sodium but high in potassium and vitamins. High intake of sodium has always been
implicated with hypertension, a chronic disease that afflicts many Virgin Islanders. Both banana and
plantain are good sources of potassium but low in sodium (Table 2). Bananas are high in vitamin C and
vitamin B6. Plantains are also rich in vitamin A. They are highly digestible and contain fiber, blood pressure
stabilizers, and calcium and phosphates for healthy skin, teeth and bones. They are also one of the few
fruit sources of chromium, a nutrient vital for combating diabetes because it stimulates the metabolism of
glucose.

Besides being used as a ripe dessert fruit, banana in the green form can be cooked in various ways.
Like plantains, they can be boiled, steamed, roasted, baked, fried, or even fermented to make beer and
vinegar. In the V.I., green bananas are a major constituent of the diet of several ethnic groups. There is
growing interest in the market for banana and plantain chips, made by deep frying green banana and
plantain slices as snack items. The fresh banana itself, however, is an ideal snack item, which may be
the reason that processed banana products have not flooded the market.





Table 2

Nutrient Composition of 100g of Banana (Ripe and Green) and Plantain


Nutrients Ripe Banana Green Banana Plantain


Calories 85.0 110.0 119.0
Protein (g) 1.1 1.4 1.1
Fat (g) 0.2 0.2 0.4
Carbohydrate (g) 22.2 28.7 31.2
Calcium (mg) 8.0 8.0 7.0
Phosphorus (mg) 26.0 35.0 30.0
Iron (mg) 0.7 0.9 0.7
Sodium (mg) 1.0 -- 5.0
Potassium (mg) 370 ----- 385
Vitamin A (I.U.) 190 290 1200
Thiamine (B,) (mg) 0.05 0.04 0.06
Niacin (mg) 0.7 0.6 2.1
Riboflavin (B2) (mg) 0.06 0.02 0.10
Vitamin C (mg) 10.0 31.0 14.0
Vitamin B6 (mg) 25.0 ----- -----

Abbreviations: g = gram; mg = milligram; I.U. = International Unit


Source: Handbook of the Nutritional Content of Foods. USDA Handbook #8.
13







Table 3

Estimated Costs and Returns per 114 Acre
for Plantain Production
(St Croix Profile)


Estimated Unit Estimated Estimated % of
Receipt Items Yield Cost/Unit (S) Value (S) Total Cost

Plantain 12,974.00 lb. 0.40 5,189.80
Gross Receipts 5,189.80 227.14

Production Operation Items Qty. Used
Suckers 350.00 plants 3.00 1,050.00 54.07
Replacement Suckers 43.75 plants 3.00 131.25 7.01
Fertilizer (commercial) 1,225.00 lbs. 0.15 183.75 9.81
Chicken Manure 0.43 ton 33.33 14.33 0.77
Insecticide 0.43 pt. 3.50 1.51 0.08
Insecticide 5.25 lb. 3.50 18.38 0.98
Fungicide 0.87 lbs. 12.00 10.44 0.56
Mulch 875.00 lb. 0.02 17.50 0.93
Irrigation Repair 0.43 dol. 40.00 17.20 0.92
Pruning 7.00 hrs. 6.00 42.00 2.24
Staking 7.00 hrs. 6.00 42.00 2.24
Labor 36.75 hrs. 6.00 220.50 11.77
Tractor (Harrow) 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.20
Tractor (Plow) 0.25 acre 60.00 15.00 0.34
Grass Cutting 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.80
Tiller 3.00 day 15.00 45.00 4.09
Subtotal: Production Operation Cost 1,816.36 96.99

Harvesting & Marketing Items
Cutting and Packing 1.75 hrs. 6.00 10.50 0.56
Subtotal: Harvesting & Marketing Cost 10.50 0.56

Total Variable Cost 1,826.86 97.56
Gross Receipts Above Total Variable Cost 3,362.94 179.58

Fixed Items
Equipment 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.20
Irrigation 0.43 acre 91.67 39.42 2.11
Other 0.43 acre 6.08 2.61 0.14
Subtotal: Fixed Cost 45.78 2.44

Total Cost 1,872.64 100.00

Net Receipts 3,317.16 177.14








Table 4

Estimated Costs and Returns per 1/4 Acre
for Banana Production
(St. Croix Profile)


Estimated Unit Estimated Estimated % of
Receipt Items Yield Cost/Unit ($) Value ($) Total Cost

Banana 6,125.00 lb. 0.53 3,246.25
Gross Receipts 3,246.25 294.74

Production Operation Items Qty. Used
Suckers 200.00 plants 3.00 600.00 54.48
Replacement Suckers 25.00 plants 3.00 75.00 6.81
Fertilizer (commercial) 700.00 lbs. 0.15 105.00 9.53
Chicken Manure 0.25 ton 33.33 8.33 0.76
Insecticide 0.25 pt. 3.50 0.88 0.08
Insecticide 3.00 lb. 3.50 10.50 0.95
Fungicide 0.50 lbs. 12.00 6.00 0.54
Mulch 500.00 lb. 0.02 10.00 0.91
Irrigation Repair 0.25 dol. 40.00 10.00 0.91
Pruning 4.00 hrs. 6.00 24.00 2.18
Staking 4.00 hrs. 6.00 24.00 2.18
Labor 21.00 hrs. 6.00 126.00 11.44
Tractor (Harrow) 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.34
Tractor (Plow) 0.25 acre 60.00 15.00 1.36
Grass Cutting 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.34
Tiller 3.00 day 15.00 45.00 4.09
Subtotal: Production Operation Cost 1,067.21 96.90

Harvesting & Marketing Items
Cutting and Packing 1.00 hrs. 6.00 6.00 0.54
Subtotal: Harvesting & Marketing Cost 6.00 0.54

Total Variable Cost 1,073.21 97.44
Gross Receipts Above Total Variable Cost 2,173.04 197.30

Fixed Items
Equipment 0.25 acre 15.00 3.75 0.34
Irrigation 0.25 acre 91.67 22.92 2.08
Other 0.25 acre 6.08 1.52 0.14
Subtotal: Fixed Cost 28.19 2.56

Total Cost 1,101.40 100.00

Net Receipts 2,144.85 194.74







RECIPES REPRINTED FROM
UVI COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE PUBLICATION- NATIVE RECIPES






Mashed Plantains


plantains
teaspoons salt
pepper
cup butter
cup milk


Cook and mash the plantains adding the butter, milk, salt and
pepper. Mix well; serve hot. This may also be put through a
vegetable ricer. Makes approximately 6 1/2 cup servings.

Each 1/2 cup provides:


Calorie


Protein
(g)
2


Carbohydrates
(g)
29


Sodium
(mg)
709


Cholesterol
(mg)
15


Substitute skim milk for whole, low-fat margarine for butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt for 2 to lower the calorie
content to 146, the fat to 4 grams and the cholesterol to 0.







Plantain Pie I


3 plantains (hard-ripe)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 cup green pepper minced
1/4 cup minced onion
pepper to taste
2 eggs hard-boiled (chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons raisins
12 olives

Boil and mash plantains. Fry ground beef lightly in margarine. Add salt, onions, green pepper, hard
boiled eggs, olives, raisins and tomato sauce. Cook for five minutes. Grease a glass baking dish, put in
half the mashed plantains; then put in the meat mixture and cover with remaining half of plantain. Place
baking dish in a pan of water one inch deep. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 4000F. A good luncheon dish.
Makes 8 servings.

Each serving provides:

Calorie Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
314 15 86 40 723 92.2

To decrease the amount of fat, fry lean ground beef using a light coating of nonstick vegetable spray. Decreasing
the amount of olives and salt will lower the sodium content.




***00000***00*00****000




Tostones

Peel green plantains, cut them diagonally in 1-inch slices. Cover with salt water for 5 minutes. Drain.
Fry until soft then remove and place on a tostonera. Press slices flat. Return to pan. Continue frying
until golden brown in color. Serve hot, as a vegetable.

Each 1/4 of whole plantain provides:


Calorie Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (9) (g) (mg) (mg)
114 7 .6 14 247 0

Use a monounsaturated oil (e.g. light olive or canola) to fry the tostones.







Banana and Sweet Potato Casserole


4 sweet potatoes W '
2 teaspoons salt
4 ounces butter
4 bananas
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 2 oranges
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 6

Cook potatoes in boiling water until just tender. Drain
and allow to cool. Peel and cut into quarter inch thick slices.
Butter a deep casserole dish and fill with alternating layers
of potatoes and bananas. Combine orange juice, sugar,
ginger and salt. Pour over layers. Dot with butter. Bake at
300TF for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with meat or poultry.
Serves 6 8.





Calorie Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(g) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
216 12 1 28 612 41


This analysis is done assuming that the recipe will serve 8. Substitute butter with a low-fat margarine
and reduce the fat to 6 grams and calories to 163 per serving. Use only 1 teaspoon of salt and lower
sodium to 387 mg.



*.@..O **0000****




Banana Fritters


3 cups mashed, overripe bananas
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup water

Combine ingredients in order. Beat well. Drop into deep fat by spoonfuls. Fry until golden brown.
Serves 10.







Banana Pie


pie crust

3 ripe bananas
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla whipped cream
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
3 heaping tablespoons sugar

Line pie plate with a good crust and bake to a
light brown. Cover with a thick layer of sliced
ripe bananas. Pour over these a hot custard
made as follows:
To 1 3/4 cups boiling milk, add 2 heaping
tablespoons of cornstarch or 4 tablespoons flour,
dissolved in 1/4 cup cold milk; 2 eggs and 3
heaping tablespoons sugar. Cook in double
boiler until thick. Flavor with vanilla.

Place in refrigerator until set. Serve cold
topped with whipped cream. Serves 8.





Calorie Fat Protein Carbohydrates Sodium Cholesterol
(9) (g) (g) (mg) (mg)
254 13 6 30 193 153

(with 3 bananas, 1 cup whipped cream and whole milk)








REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING


Feakin, S. D. 1971. Pest Control in Bananas. Pans Manual No.1. Centre for Overseas pest research.
London.

Robinson, J. C. 1996. Banana and Plantain. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, UK.

Samson, J. A. 1980. Tropical fruits. Tropical Agriculture Services. Longman Group Limited London.

Stover, R. H. and N.W. Simmonds, 1987. Bananas. 3rd Edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 605 3rd
Avenue, NY,NY 10158.

Infomusa. The International Magazine on Banana and Plantain. International Network for the Improvement
of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP).


A recently emerged inflorescence (unfolding of blossoms) with
flower parts on fruits.
20
















































































rowingg aunana and Plantain in the 1 iremn Islands is published by the University of tihe I t ct IIfind'htd g igfrii'tltirl L.api minim m.ft imiihmm
Dr Jtanm s Rukicy, Director. Contents of this publication constitute public property. Neither endmril Wa'tnit p:fmnlucs o, r tlint am itint ,h L.
inor criticism implied l of/th nor mentioned. The I i, I r.ii af/i/thc" ir iii Islands is committed to ith' polite I Y iitiall pm/ oNiTW mm/h l hlimit m iqintl
m ee*N tit its programs, facilities and employment without regard to race. ncolr, national origin. r.ligio 4 t gende ige (c d blni li I gd,'
pfcier nluC.




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