Evaluation of banana bunch protection materials for optimum fruit production on cultivars grown in Mozambique. (109)
Keywords:Banana, bunch protection materials
AbstractMozambique has the potential to boost its banana exports. To fully realise this, agronomic practices in production should be fully developed to combat physiological disorders associated with banana within the region. Currently, lower temperatures are being experienced in some production sites, consequently affecting yield and quality. The objective of this study is to evaluate the use of bunch protection covers on Grand Nain and Williams banana cultivars. Treatments consisted of: white perforated polythene; white non- perforated polythene; blue perforated polythene; blue non-perforated polythene; green perforated polythene; green non-perforated polythene and cheese cloth bags. Bunches left un-bagged were used as a control. Bunch covers were applied after the bracts covering the hands have fallen off and when the fingers were curling upwards, and the floral remnants have hardened. Banana bunch covers significantly increased yields (ton/ha) in the cultivars with significant reduction of fruit defects. Inconsistent results were shown on use of bags of various designs, viz. colour and perforation; however the use of perforated bags is recommended to reduce high relative humidity inside the bags.