The fifth and final leaflet from ENDURE’s Banana Case Study is now online, offering insights into commercial banana production in Spain’s Canary Islands, where growers have more than a century of experience in growing Europe’s most popular fruit.
Banana production under Integrated Pest Management and organic criteria: the Canary Islands case study explores the advances made by growers in the islands, which together represent Europe’s largest banana producing region.
The importance of bananas to the islands, situated off the north-western coast of Africa, is underlined in the leaflet’s opening paragraph: banana production has structured the agricultural landscape of the islands and supports the economy.
With most growers operating smallholdings of less than one hectare, they have developed profound knowledge of crop management in subtropical conditions and have successfully adopted systems of controlled production to meet the challenges of increasingly restrictive European Community legislation designed to protect the environment, food safety and human health.
The leaflet explores how growers, members of the ASPROCAN growers’ association, have combined a mixture of new techniques and traditional methods to meet these challenges, which has included signing up to a range of certification schemes such as AENOR and GLOBALGAP, Integrated Production and Ecological Production.
The authors from the Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias (ICIA) and ASPROCAN have identified some key steps to producing bananas in a more sustainable way. These include:
Banana production under Integrated Pest Management and organic criteria: the Canary Islands case study is the fifth leaflet in the From Science to Field series devoted to banana production. The banana leaflets, which first went online in January, have already proved popular worldwide, with downloads being made across Central and Southern America, Asia and Australasia, in addition to Europe.
Other banana leaflets available
The need to find safer, more environmentally friendly, ways of producing bananas is spelled out in the first leaflet in the series, Challenging short and mid-term strategies to reduce the use of pesticides in banana production . It identifies both the scale of the banana sector (59 million tonnes of dessert bananas were produced worldwide in 2007) and the heavy pesticide use that this can sometimes entail (more than 70kg of active ingredient per hectare per year in Belize, for example).
Guide Number 2, Mycosphaerella foliar diseases of bananas: towards an integrated protection , examines in detail Black Leaf Streak Disease (BLSD, caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis ) and Sigatoka Disease (SD, caused by M. musicola ), which, it says, are the main parasitic problem for export bananas. They cause both yield loss, through damage to the foliage, but more importantly for banana producers, they cause bananas to ripen prematurely and render them unfit for export.
Guide Number 3, Integrated Pest Management of black weevil in banana cropping systems , examines Cosmopolites sordidus (Coleoptera: curculionidae), the black weevil which is a major pest of banana for both export farms and for smallholders in developing countries. It suggests a range of IPM strategies including the introduction of new cropping practices, such as fallows, and the use of pheromone-pitfall traps.
Guide Number 4, Integrated management of banana nematodes: Lessons from a case study in the French West Indies , examines steps taken to control these tiny worms whose proliferation not only disrupts water and nutrient uptake and delays growth, but may cause banana plants to topple over.
|Guide Number 1: Challenging short and mid-term strategies to reduce the use of pesticides in banana production||
Banana Case Study Guide Number 1 [pdf - 51446 kB]
|Guide Number 2: Mycosphaerella foliar diseases of bananas: towards an integrated protection||
Banana Case Study Guide Number 2 [pdf - 51403 kB]
|Guide Number 3: Integrated Pest Management of black weevil in banana cropping systems||
Banana Case Study Guide Number 3 [pdf - 61899 kB]
|Guide Number 4: Integrated management of banana nematodes: Lessons from a case study in the French West Indies||
Banana Case Study Guide Number 4 [pdf - 56975 kB]
|Guide Number 5: Banana production under Integrated Pest Management and organic criteria: the Canary Islands case study||
Banana Case Study Guide Number 5 [pdf - 45953 kB]
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