The objective of this study was to characterize the banana production systems and to identify the constraints it faces. A questionnaire survey and field observations were carried out with banana producers. At the end of the surveys, three main banana production systems were found: Monoculture (10%), banana-food crops intercropping (7%) and agroforestry (83%). In addition, four types of banana (cooking banana, plantain, beer banana and dessert banana) are integrated into banana cultivation systems, with a varying planting density depending on the type of cultural association envisaged. On average, a banana farmer owns 140 banana plants or stools on an average area of 0.68 ha, ranging from 0.0625 to 2 ha. On average, banana grower’s harvest 6 bunches per week with an estimated average weight of 12, 8.5 and 5.2 kg for plantain, cooking bananas and dessert banana, respectively. The weight estimate and marketing data for beer banana were not provided as it has not been sold in the market like other cultivars since the advent of BXW. The cultivation of bananas in Beni territory is constrained by diseases, mainly bacterial wilt of bananas (80%) and Banana Bunchy Top Disease (7%); climatic hazards (winds, drought and hail), insecurity, soil infertility, use of low-quality planting materials, inadequate agricultural practices, non-use of agricultural inputs, lack of technical and financial assistance as well as the weak involvement of state authorities in production. These constraints not only exacerbate the misery of banana producers but also contribute to the erosion of certain varieties and to the loss of the region's hegemony in banana production. In order to eradicate these threats, it is therefore essential to practice intensive cultivation with more inputs and especially improved cultivars.
Key words: Constraints, cropping system, banana, Beni.
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