Banana farming practices: Restoring soil potassium

Potassium is a major plant nutrient, and recycling it between plants and soil serves the best interest of both. Banana plant absorbs huge amount of potassium from soil and distributes between the trunk (pseudo-stem) and the fruits. Banana plants give fruits only once, and volume of pseudo-stem generated is five to ten times of fruits. Naturally, banana farming generates a huge quantity of biomasses and leads to severe depletion of soil potassium. This book reports how part of the depleted potassium can be restored to soil.

Banana is a major crop in at least 135 countries world over, and more than 150 million MT banana fruits are produced every year. This much of banana production is associated with 750 to 1500 million MT of bio-waste, and this much bio-waste is equivalent to 2.2213 to 4.4427 billion MT of muriate of potash (MOP). We are reporting to show how to use banana plant pseudo-stem in lieu of MOP to grow five different crops on experimental basis. Undoubtedly, our experiments may be extended to cover many other crops. The use of pseudo-stem juice as the substitute for potash not only restores soil potassium but also enhances crop yields minimum 10% up to about 60%.

The book ‘Agricultural Benefits of Postharvest Banana Plants’ consists of eleven chapters. The chapters include analysis of banana plant pseudo-stem juice and fibers. Details of farming procedures and crop yield analysis along with colored pictures are provided. Prospective uses of pseudo-stem fibers are also discussed. Further scope of research and development is discussed in the last chapter. A glossary of important terminologies and abbreviations is also provided for the convenience of the readers.

This book is an ideal handbook for professionals and trainees interested in utilizing postharvest banana plants for sustainable agriculture and trade. The information is also useful for students and teachers involved in agricultural biotechnology and traditional agriculture courses.

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About the Author:

Educated in Cotton College (B.Sc. Chemistry Honours), Gauhati University (M.Sc. Organic Chemistry & D.Sc. Organic Synthesis), IIT Kharagpur (M.Tech. & Ph.D. High Pressure Technology & Catalysis) and Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo (PG Diploma in Organic Synthesis), Prof. Dibakar Chandra Deka had an opportunity to work for one year in the Research Group of Prof. Takeshi Nakai in Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo as a UNESCO Fellow (1989-90) and another one year in the Research Group of Prof. EJ Thomas (former Editor-in-Chief Tetrahedron Letters & Presently Editor of Journal of Chemical Research) in the University of Manchester, UK as a Commonwealth Visiting Fellow (1997-98). Prof. Deka was awarded FRSC by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the year 2016. He served Cotton College (now Cotton University) for about a year and then joined the Department of Chemistry, Gauhati University in the year 1991 and continued his services in Teaching and Research till June 2019. Presently he is holding the position of the Vice-Chancellor of Madhabdev University, Narayanpur, Assam. His research interest includes synthetic organic chemistry, biodiesel, traditional alcoholic beverages and natural products chemistry. He has till now successfully guided 31 research scholars leading to PhD degrees and a few more presently working. Prof. Deka is a founder executive member of all India Association of Chemistry Teachers since 2000 and was elected its President in 2017 for three years.

The co-author Dr. Satya Ranjan Neog is one of his Ph.D. scholars with whom the work described in this book was accomplished. Dr. Neog is presently working as an Associate Professor of Chemistry in Dhakuakhana College, Assam.

Keywords:

banana plant, potash, agriculture, pseudo-stem juice, agricultural biotechnology, farming, crop yield analysis, potassium carbonate

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This part of information is sourced from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-04/bsp-bfp040121.php