Did you know that Ecuador is the largest banana exporter in the world? With about 250,000 ha, the crop is the largest export commodity, second only to oil.
“Depending on previous management and soil conditions, a high yielding banana field could require from 1 to 2.5 t of fertilizer with strong emphasis on potassium. A large harvest can remove about 700 kg of K2O alone,” said Dr. Raul Jaramillo, director of IPNI Northern Latin America. “Other important production regions include Colombia and Costa Rica,” Jaramilla noted.
Jaramillo, with support from regional partners, recently held several nutrition and physiology education sessions in three important banana producing areas: Quevedo, Babahoyo, and Machala.
“IPNI has partnered with researchers in the region to conduct studies on fertilizer use, liming, and soil cover management. We have also produced publications that are very popular and provide training for growers in all banana growing countries,” Jaramillo said.
Banana production requires considerable labor and continuous disease management. The most serious threat to banana production is the potential appearance of Fusarium disease. Efforts are underway in the Americas to prevent the spread of the disease. For more information about our Northern Latin America program, click here.