Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Banana in Malaysia

Banana in Malaysia
In Malaysia, bananas are being commercialized for export. Cavendish is being planted on a few sites, in dense stands allowing pathogens and pests present in this region of coevolution to reveal their epidemic for the fist time. These are as a rotation crop after old palm oil. The plantations are severely affected by Fusarium wilt. The plantations were established with no concern for this disease.

In Malaysia, banana is the second most widely cultivated fruit, covering about 26,000 ha with a total production of 530,000 metric tones. About 50% of the banana growing land is cultivated with Pisang Berangan and the Cavendish type.

However, banana production in Malaysia has decreased because of an increasing threat of diseases (particularly Fusarium wilt), high labor costs and marketing issues. However, it is still popular grown and contributes about 16% of the total fruit production areas.

Banana cultivation is largely a smallholder enterprise where farms are small, unorganized and farmers often adopt inferior technology. Apparently, this production practice often results in low yield and inferior quality.

Poor quality has been a major constraint to export of fresh fruits, including banana. It is therefore necessary to adopt good production practices and inefficient postharvest handling to ensure consistent supply of high quality banana for export.

There is also little research on banana. Local agriculture at the village level provided all the fruit needed for local markets, and the village production was left to its own devices, with research going to rubber, oil palm and later to rice. Although some academic research on bananas exists at universities and at the Malaysia Research and Development Authority (MARDI), there is little connection with commercial development.
Banana in Malaysia
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