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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 20, No. 2, 2020, pp. 15474-15489
Bioline Code: nd20020
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2020, pp. 15474-15489

Olumba, CC & Onunka, CN


This study provides an overview of banana and plantain in West Africa. West Africa is one of the major plantain-producing regions of the world, accounting for about 32% of worldwide production. The major plantain-producing countries in the region include Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, and Guinea. Banana is also cultivated in West Africa but account for only 2.3% of worldwide production. The major banana-producing countries in the region include Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, and Liberia. Banana and plantain have become major food and cash crops in the region. Since the last decade, plantain yields in West Africa have experienced slight increases, with the largest production of 3.7 million metric tons in Ghana, contributing about 13.1% to the agricultural Gross Domestic Product. Cote d’lvoire ranks the highest producer of bananas with about 320,000 metric tons in West Africa. Although plantain production in West Africa is much higher than banana production, banana is presently of greater importance in terms of world trade. Whereas plantain marketing is characterized by small-scale, widely dispersed producers, banana production is generally more centralized, involving larger production firms and a more structured marketing and transportation system. In West Africa, the sustained production of banana and plantain is endangered by several yield constraining factors including pests and diseases, low technology adoption and environmental factors especially under smallholder management. However, there is room for progress in obtaining bigger yield of these crops. Banana and plantain production enterprises in West Africa have great prospects in the area of employment generation, contributions to national income and gross domestic product, poverty alleviation, economic and industrial growth and rural development. Recommendations are drawn for the provision of market information outfits to disseminate information timely to banana and plantain marketers, price stability, and the need for intensive research on the growth requirements for the sustained production of the crops.

Banana; plantain; Trends; production; Yield; trade; Marketing; Constraints; West Africa

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