Origin and Distribution


Origin Center of origin means the birthplace of a plant. According to available literature, the Indo Burma region is considered as the center of origin of banana. A number of wild varieties of banana were found from this region. Further studies also proved that the table variety of banana have originated in Malaysia. And the cooking varieties is considered to be originated in South India.
History Banana was one of the first cultivated food crops in the world. Reference of the fruit is available as early as 500-600 BC from various Hindu epics. Alexander the Great was said to have noticed the fruit in the Indus valley during 327 BC. The Chinese traveler Yang Fu in 200 AD has recorded the cultivation of banana in his writing. Similar references were also available in various other religious texts also.
Spread Indo-Burma region was considered as the center of origin of banana. From there banana was taken to East Africa through the Madagascar route in 50 AD. It later spread to the Mediterranean region during 650 AD. And the Portuguese travelers were eager enough to take the plant to the New World in 1516 AD. At present banana cultivation spread over 120 countries in 10 million hectors.
Distribution Banana cultivation is distributed through out the world. Among the different banana cultivating countries, India ranks first both in area and production. The other major banana producing countries include Ecuador, Brazil, China, Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Mexico etc. Coming to India, Tamil Nadu forms the state where the area and production of banana is the highest. The other major states include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Kerala, West Bengal etc in the order.
References Bose, T.K., Mithra, S.K., Sanyal, D. (1996) Fruits: Tropical and Sub-Tropical, Naya Udyog Publications, Calcutta.