Banana is an important fruit crop of many tropical and subtropical regions of India. It is cultivated in India in an area of 830.5 thousand ha and total production is around 29,779.91 thousand tons. Main banana growing states are Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The global production of banana is around 102028.17 thousand tons of which India contributes 29.19%. Besides India, other major banana producing countries are China, Philippines, Ecuador, Brazil and Indonesia.
Largest area under banana cultivation is in Tamil Nadu state followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states.
India is the largest producer of banana in the world.
More than 27% of total banana production takes place in Maharashtra and Gujarat states.
Rainfall and humidity are quite less particularly in Maharashtra and also to some extent in Gujarat state, resulting in lesser incidence of insects, pests and diseases compared to Central and South America and South East Asian countries.
A superior cultivar namely Grand Naine, well accepted in international market is being cultivated in sizeable area in Maharashtra and Gujarat states.
Red banana cultivar which is preferred in some countries can create a market for itself with support of display, campaign etc.
Banana is cultivated in sufficient acreage and in different agro-climatic conditions and thus is in a position to meet the large demands from importing countries on a continuous basis, provided planting and cultivation is well planned.
Transfer of technology is easy as growers have organized themselves by forming cooperatives/ associations and have branded their product as “Mahabanana”.
Agri Export Zone for promoting exports of banana has been established in Maharashtra in Jalgaon area.
Post harvest handling facilities are available at a small scale at Navsari and Borsad in Gujarat state.
Banana Export Facility Center with mechanical handling system has been set up at Saavada in Jalgaon and Basmantnagar in district Hingoli in aharashtra state
Geographically, India is better placed compared to South East Asian, Central and South American countries for exports to Gulf countries.
Special training programmes need to be conducted to give knowledge to farmers about production of export quality banana in Maharashtra.