This tutorial is to teach you the plantain sucker multiplication as a means to produce relatively clean and healthy plantain suckers (plantlet) in a period of 2 to 4month. Plantain and banana is an important crop for food security and source of income for farmers. The major means of propagation of plantain is through the suckers. These suckers are obtained from the mother plant which simply implies that it has the same characteristics as the mother sucker and in a situation where the mother sucker is diseased, the resulting sword suckers are likely to be diseased as well which result in poor planting materials to farmers and subsequently low yield or even an outbreak of diseases. Unlike maize that a cob can give as many as 250 seeds, plantain don’t readily produce planting materials, thus availability of clean, viable and affordable planting material is a major difficulty facing plantain and banana plantation. The method of sucker multiplication in the field is usually referred to as macro propagation.
Advantage of this method
It gives relatively healthy plant
It can be done locally at low cost with minimum training
A private person or private organization can launch these activities
Produced suckers are easily transportable and sold.
How to select suckers
Select healthy suckers from a healthy looking mother plant
Recommended suckers to use should be about 1m in length
Watering can, hoe, plantain suckers, cutlass, basket, sawdust or topsoil,
Parring of plantain suckers. This is done to remove outer tissues like root. In this way, a nematode that resides in the root are removed.
After parring, immerse that parred suckers in boiling water,
Boiling water treatment:
This is the process where the parred suckers is deep inside the water for 30sec. you can estimate the 30sec by counting from 1 to 30 at a moderate speed. The aim of this proves is to have healthy suckers that are free from nematode.
NOTE: Overheating kill the sucker.
Apply heat treatment to parred plantain suckers before planting Split parred suckers according to the size of the corm
Remove epical meristem from the setts. That is where the sprouting will take place
Prepare your bed. After bed preparation, spread the sawdust on the bed
Heat the sawdust of about 2hours. If you want to use topsoil instead of sawdust, you should heat it for about 4hours. Allow it cool/dry after heating. Moist the medium (sawdust) before and after planting (watering prepared bed) Plant the parred suckers on the bed and cover it, water thoroughly
Sprouting of the sett will commence after 3 to 4weeks of planting Transfer to the nursery using a planting space of 1m by 1m (length of a cutlass)