TRING STANDARD PSEUDOSTEM SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR BANANA
Banana cultivation has a major share of agricultural production in Kerala. Although it offers higher benefit-cost ratio under favourable seasonal and climatic conditions, the farmers are practically facing a most dreadful threat in banana cultivation. That is, the damage of banana pseudo stem due to adversely effecting wind.
The usual practice to prevent the stem damage is by providing support using standard poles and coir ropes for each plant during the bunch sprouting time. This method envisages using strong poles which is having higher cost. These poles cannot be used for more than one or two seasons due to natural decaying and mites attack. The farmers need to spend Rs.55-80 for the poles for each plant under this method. The cost and availability is varying according to place. It is obvious that the pseudostem protection requires more than 70 % of the cultivation cost.
In the year 2012-13 CARD-Krishi Vigyan Kendra introduced a new method for banana pseudo stem protection. The method is now being popularized by the name of ‘String Standard pseudostem support system for banana’. The wooden/bamboo poles are replaced with Galvanized Iron rings which can be easily connected to and detached from the banana stem. The method is very simple and versatile that, every plant is provided with the GI rings at maximum possible height during the bunch sprouting period. Installation of rings can be started when 30 % of the banana plants in the field start bunch sprouting. Every installed ring is then connected to the nearest four rings firmly using plastic ropes. The plants at the peripheral sides are provided with standard poles and then it is anchorage to a stump provided at 2.5 m distance.
The cost of banana pseudo stem protection is reduced to Rs.25/plant including materials and labour. The GI ring and the plastic rope has a cost of Rs,20/plant and it can be continuously used at least for 5 cropping seasons. The method is now widely adopted by the banana cultivating farmers not only in Pathanamthitta District, but to the other banana growing zones of Kerala viz,. Kozhikode, Thrisuur, Palakkad and Malappuram.