Saba Banana Production Guide Part 3

Banana floral thrips (Thrips flaerum): Can be controlled by spraying the bunch with effective insecticides like Dioazinon. Two to three spraying are required to attain good control.

Furthermore, inflorescence injection with the application of synthetic pyrethroid has also been found effective in controlling thrips.

DISEASES: important diseases affecting Saba banana are sigatoka, black leaf streak, panama wilt, bunchy top, and mosaic.

Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease caused by mycosphaerella musicola wherein infected plant exhibits small yellowish lesions on the third or fourth leaf which later darken and kill leaf lamina that will eventually cause collapse of the petiole. Severely infected plants become less productive, which produce inferior fruits.

Black leaf streak, on the other hand, is a disease cause by mycosphaerella fijinsis which has similar effects as sigatoka but is more virulent. These diseases can be controlled by the combination of chemical spraying, sanitation and cultural practices which include maintaining optimum plant population and density, upkeep of canal and drainage, removal of the sources of inoculums and proper nourishment of the plant.

Panama wilt is caused by fusarium oxyporum and shown by the yellowing of leaves and petioles collapse around the pseudostem. Control measures involve rouging of infected plants, use of disease-free planting materials and implementation of quarantine measures.

Bugtok is caused by a bacterium identified as Ralstonia solanacearum and is manifested by browning of the inflorescence and thwe appearance of internal vascular streaks in the fruit peduncle, fruit stem and in the pseudostem. This can be controlled by regular sanitation and removal of the inflorescence upon the appearance of false fingers; and if possible, wrapping the fruits with either plastic bag, sacks, or cement bag measuring 0.75m x 1.5 m.

Mosaic and bunchy top are destructive viral diseases of banana. Mosaic virus is transmitted by aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa and is characterized by leaf streaks and the production of twisted bunches, deformed hands and distorted fingers which may not develop and finally become rotten. On the other hand, bunchy top is transmitted by brown banana aphid,

Pentalonia nigronervosa and infects bananas at any stage of growth, resulting in stunted growth, rosette leaf formation and deformed fruits of low yield. The control scheme for bunchy top and mosaic consists of immediate removal and complete destruction of infected plants, regular spraying of insecticides at manufacturer’s recommendation to control aphids, and use of virus-free planting materials.


Maturity Regardless of the variety can be distinguished easily when the first leaf turns yellow. It can also be gauged by the angle formation of the fingers. The more rounded the angle in the finger, the mature it is. Saba should be harvested when fully mature. However, fruits can be harvested green 5 to 10 days before ripening if it is intended for instant shipment.

Harvesting may appear to be simple but it should be done with great care. Usually, Two men are needed in harvesting, namely the cutter and the helper (baker). The cutter nicks the pseudostem in such a way that the bunch is lowered gently. The backer then positions himself below the bunch and takes hold the lower end of the fruit stalks as the bunch is laid on his shoulder. The cutter then cuts the peduncle of the fruit.


Saba banana growing is regarded as a business which involves several aspects from production to marketing that a miscalculation in any of the operational steps would main a business failure. The profitability of saba growing is measured in terms of ratio between the production costs and output level. The role played by efficient management is to provide conditions that favor the growth and fruitfulness of the plantation and ultimately maximizing the net return on investment.

It should be borne in mind that heavy expenditures coupled with high yield of high quality fruit is more profitable than cheap care with low yield of inferior fruit quality.

source: Bureau of plant Industry,

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