Journal of
Horticulture and Forestry

  • Abbreviation: J. Hortic. For.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9782
  • DOI: 10.5897/JHF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 302


Banana domestication on the Arabian Peninsula: A review of their domestication history

Khair Tuwair Said Al-Busaidi
  • Khair Tuwair Said Al-Busaidi
  • Directorate General of Agriculture and Livestock Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Crop Production Research Centre, Fruit Research Department, P. O. Box 343 Postal Code 615, Samail, Sultanate of Oman.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 12 November 2013
  •  Published: 31 December 2013


Bananas are one of domesticated crops prehistoric in Arabian region. However, domestication history of this crop in this region did not receive attention by researchers. The strategic location of the Arabian Peninsula at the intersection of several main Old World trade routes has made it an incubator for bananas coming from different continents of the world. Tracing the history of bananas in this region and understanding the drivers of their diversity under inhospitable conditions may help maintain and further develop banana cultivation in similar areas of the world, especially where this issue has not been extensively studied. Domesticated banana cultivars presently found in the Arabian Peninsula are not indigenous to the region. The Islands of Southeast Asia and Southern China are the strongest candidate to be the primary sites of banana domestication, the subsequent phases of cultivation and translocation to other parts of the world during the prehistoric era. The Gulf ports, in particular Omani coastal ports and Indian Ocean trade effectively contributed to the exchange of plant genetic resources including bananas between the Arabian Peninsula areas and the Indian subcontinent, Africa and China. There is a relationship between ancient coastal ports and the presence of a variety of banana subgroups in some areas of the Arabian Peninsula such as Oman.

Key words: Maritime routes, ancient ports, linguistic, archaeological, translocation, banana history.