The fruit grows
When the banana plant is 9 months old, it produces a flower. The red flower looks like an American football.
- The plant is a hermafrodite and reproduces by itself. The flower starts growing into a bunch of bananas. The process takes 10-12 weeks depending on the season.
- When the bananas start growing, a plastic bag is placed around them to protect the fruits from insects, dust and pollution, and because the fruits grow faster inside the bag.
- Plastic covers are placed between the fruits so their ends won’t damage the other fruits’ peels as they grow bigger and turn up towards the sun.The plastic protectors are called daipas and are reused several times.
- The plastic bags are marked with plastic bands in different colours, to show which week the fruits are supposed to be harvested. Asoguabo uses eight colours.
- When the bananas grow in size, the two lowest rows of fruit are usually removed, so the rest of the fruits will get enough nutrition to grow to the right size.
- A banana bunch ready for harvest is almost an entire box of bananas (18.14 kilograms).
(Source: The Banana Tour guides)