No other food on earth is as healthy and nutritious as the Banana. In India, only mango, the king of fruits, is more popular than Banana. But unlike Banana, it’s not available all throughout the year. It is more nutritious, affordable and packed with some medicinal goodies, which makes it a daily fruit. Banana’s potential for exports add to its commercial value.
Though we all have a banana at least once a day, do we have any idea of how many varieties of the fruit are there? There are over 300 types of bananas in the world. This said, only 15 to 20 varieties are mainly grown in India.
Commercially, there are only two types of banana: desert and culinary types. If you take the culinary types, they are more starchy, and when mature unripe go in as vegetables. Important varieties include Monthan, Robusta, Dwarf Cavendish, Poovan, Red banana, Nendran, Nyali, Basrai, Safed Velchi Rasthali, Karpurvalli, Ardhapuri, etc.
Main Indian states growing different banana varieties include Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Progressive Banana varieties include Dwarf Cavendishes and Robusta. Dwarf Cavendish is also popularly known by other names such as Basrai, Bhusavali, Sindurani, Marisas, Kabuli, etc. Though the plant is large, its fruits are large. Its pulp is soft and quite sweet in food.
Another popular variety is Bambegreen and Harichal. It is extensively grown in the areas of the Western Deep Group. The banana plants, usually yellow, grow as tall as 3 to 4 meters, whilst their stem is somewhat thick and thick green. You can also find green fruits growing in them. The average bunch weighs somewhere between 25 and 30kg.