Traditional knowledge


Related to soil and climate 1. To decide the time of planting of banana, there is a common proverb in Malayalam. If “Onam” was in the first half of “Chingam” plant banana in the starting of “Attam Njattuvela”. And if “Onam” was in the second half of “Chingam”, plant banana in the starting of “Chothi Njattuvela”.
Connected with cultivation 1. Application of fermented groundnut cake as manure in banana was in use among the farmers. The practice was found to increase the quality of the fruit and also the bunch weight.

2. Dip the suckers in cow dung slurry after removing the roots. The practice is found effective in giving a quick start free from all disease to the plant.

3. The suckers grown along with the main plant was found to reduce the finger number and hands in “Nendran”. Therefore, the common practice among farmers is to destroy the suckers till the emergence of the bunch.
Linked with plant protection 1. In areas where the infestation of Rhizome Weevil was high, farmers were found using cow dung in the planting pit. The practice was found very effective in checking the infestation.

2. The farmers have noticed some insect repelling effect for Kanjiram (Strychnos nuxvomica). Green leaf manuring with the plant was found to repel pseudostem borer.

3. Fried fenugreek is reported to have the insecticidal property by many farmers. Its application in leaf axils was found to control pseudostem borer in banana.

4. A simple cultural practice was found to give good dividends to the farmers. The mechanical removal of dried leaves and its outer sheaths was found to control pseudostem borer

5. Many farmers experienced the effect of lemon grass in controlling various pests and diseases. The infestation caused by various pathogens was found less in such areas.

6. Many farmers have experienced the ability of neem in controlling the bunchy top disease. The general practice was to apply the neem cake in the planting pits and also to go for a spray of neem oil in the leaf axils.

7. A similar property was also identified with curd in controlling the mosaic disease. Here the farmers used to remove the infested plant part and apply curd to control the disease.

8. A few farmers identified the fungicidal property of cow’s urine. They take the fresh urine, dilute it with water and apply for control of various leaf spots and other diseases.
Regarding harvest and storage 1. To accelerate the process of ripening of banana the farmers were found using the leaves of “Kanikonna” (Cassia fustula). On keeping the leaves in between the bunches, it was found that the fruit get ripe in a day.

2. The covering of bunches were found to increase the quality of fruit in banana. And farmers were found using plastic bag to cover the fruit.
References 1. Swapna, T.R (2003) Rationalization of Indigenous Technical Knowledge on Pest Management in the Farm Production Systems of Palakkad District. (MSc. Thesis), Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara.