Musa spp.

Edible bananas and plantains belong primarily to Musa section Musa (traditionally Eumusa). Within this section, the originally Asian species Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana have provided the sources for domestication and development of the great majority of edible fruit. Dessert and cooking bananas and plantains are major foods worldwide, cultivated in over 130 countries throughout tropical regions and in some subtropical regions, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Global production is difficult to determine because the plants are so often grown locally in small plots (e.g. household gardens) and consumed locally. The reported area cultivated worldwide in 2006 was 4.2 million hectares of bananas and 5.4 Mha of plantains, with a world production of 70.8 million metric tonnes of bananas and 34.0 Mmt of plantains (FAO, 2008). The international trade, which involves just a few varieties of fruit, accounts for 15% of production. In addition to the edible species, Musa textilis (abacá, Manila hemp) is important for fibre production, and there are several ornamental species (Häkkinen, 2007).

Scroll to Top