Farmers, who cover banana bunches with perforated polythene bags, may quicken the maturity of the fruit by up to two weeks due to the conducive micro-climate that is created.
Polythene covers speed up the maturity time by between five days, according to a Banana research repository.
The cover, which runs from the first hand to the tip, creates a micro-climate of high temperatures of an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius per 24 hours. On warmer days the ‘greenhouse’ effect micro-climate can reach 7 degrees Celsius.
Depending on the variety and the environmental conditions, bananas take between three and four months from flowering to maturity.
Besides reducing effects of frost, the cover also leads to increased bunch weight due to optimum photosynthesis and reduced pests attack.
The cover is placed from the base of the bunch and tied at the top, right at the scar of the first bract. Early bagging helps in preventing thrips from attacking the banana.
The polythene bags are perforated at about 76mm interval with hole of 12.7mm. Micro-perforations are also done after about 10mm.