Dr Ali Muhammad Khushk &
Bananas, being popular and cheap, are cultivated throughout the year. The fruit is economical and hygienic, as the thick covering provides protection against bacteria and contamination.
Its nutritional value is high with a rare combination of energy value, tissue-building elements, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The easily assimilable sugar makes it an excellent means of recovery from fatigue. In combination with milk these form a complete balanced diet providing three essential amino acids.
In traditional medicine, banana is considered nature's secret to youth. It aids in digestion and helps in the retention of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen, the three minerals which work towards building sound and regenerated tissues. In addition bananas are good food for those suffering from any intestinal disorder like constipation, diarrhoea and dysentery. Being rich in iron, it is beneficial for anaemic people. Since the protein content is low, it benefits in kidney disorders.
Production: The banana enterprise yields physical productivity in the form of bunches. In a recent research study each grower was investigated to get the quantum in bunches and weight produced from the entire area under cultivation. The total yield was termed as the physical productivity and after total productivity, the average per acre productivity was calculated with the help of primary tables.
It is revealed that selected growers, on an average per acre, harvested 15000 kgs (375 maunds of 40 kgs each) or 1248 bunches of banana product. The statistical analysis shows that there were variations in the yield realized by different producers.
Marketing system: An efficient marketing system is essential for sustained agricultural development. There are several factors which influence the efficiency of fruit marketing including the rotting of product, seasonal viability, quality, price and location. Being perishable fruit and fluctuation in price list, the business needs careful handling, quick transport, sound packing and above all completion of operations on time. It was investigated that 87 per cent of banana producers sell harvesting rights of their farm to contractors.
Banana producers avoid marketing to escape complications. Its perishable nature and unreliable prices refrain them from taking risks. Close links are maintained by contractors with commission agents in the wholesale and terminal markets. Lack of knowledge, commission agents' bias, and engagements in other crops force banana producers to contract out, the harvesting rights of their farms. The duration of the contract is decided on mutual understanding of the highest bidder.
Payments are made in three equal instalments, first within a week after the agreement, second during the first cutting, and the third before the last cutting of banana bunches. A small amount is paid in advance, which is not refundable if the contractor fails to pay his first instalment.