Cameroon is leading the plantain production with 4.3 million tons, followed by Ghana (just under 4 million tons), Uganda (3.7 mio tons), Colombia (3.5 mio. tons) and Nigeria (3.1 mio tons). Philippines, Peru, Ivory Coast, Myanmar and Democratic Republic of Congo complete the top 10. Overall plantains are produced in over 50 countries.
According to the FAO: Plantains and other cooking bananas, staple foods grown throughout the tropics, constitute a
major source of carbohydrates for millions of people in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America,
Asia and the Pacific. Due to the perishable nature of the fruits, the rate of plantain postharvest losses varies from one country to another according to the organisation of market
chains and modes of consumption. In many producing countries, there are no data on postharvest losses. The assessment of these post-harvest losses is rather complex because green
mature plantains are consumed as well as overripe fruits. However, some factors are likely to
BANANA (PLANTAIN): Post Harvest Operations Page 2
depreciate quality and provoke post-harvest losses. These include poor transportation and
distribution facilities in the production areas, harvest at maturity close to fruit ripening, and
poor storage conditions.
In Cameroon, the most evident post-harvest losses are registered at the producer level in
enclave sites during the rainy season (N’da Adopo, 1993). These losses should be less than 35
percentage) in developing countries as previously estimated by FAO (1987).
In plantain production, labour distribution according to sex varies with producer traditions
and the economic role of production. In Cameroon, men and boys over 12 years olds are
generally in charge of land clearing, land preparation and planting. Women and girls over 15
years old step in go to the planting site and to monitor crop growth. Men and women both
perform the transport and sale of products.