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As a tropical crop, the potential for bananas to produce year round is best expressed when water is abundant and daily temperatures are in the range of 20-30°C. However, banana production, mainly for national markets, has been developed in many subtropical
areas under less than optimal conditions. Bananas are an important cash crop in southern Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, in countries of North Africa, the Middle East and southern Africa, China, northern India, the Canary Islands and Turkey. In these
regions, bananas are subject to sub-optimal temperatures and short days. Highly favorable temperatures and long days in the summer may also include short periods of extreme temperatures above 35°C, while rainfall is also highly variable. These conditions
require adapted technologies to achieve sustainable production. At the same time, these regions may also experience certain advantages over tropical production areas, such as reduced pest and disease pressure. Climate change is expected to affect subtropical
areas differently, with some areas expected to have improved conditions or be unaffected, and others to have a lower suitability due to changing climatic conditions.
The current symposium will take stock of recent developments in subtropical banana production and marketing, building on concepts and approaches presented during previous symposia. The first ISHS symposium on ‘Banana in the Subtropics' was held in 1998.
In 2010, the ISHS Sections on Banana and Plantain and on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits jointly organized a symposium on ‘Citrus, Bananas and other Tropical Fruits under Subtropical Conditions'. In addition, the upcoming symposium on ‘Agro-ecological
Approaches to Promote Innovative Banana Production Systems', to be held in Montpellier in October 2016, will provide a suite of technical advances in the deployment of agro-eclogical approaches in banana production, and how these can contribute to the
development of innovative sustainable production systems, also in subtropical regions.
Eight years after the last symposium on banana in the subtropics, stakeholders in the subtropical banana sector will benefit from a state-of-the-art of the latest technological advances for the production and marketing of this tropical crop under subtropical
conditions. Scientists and growers will be able to discuss alternative production, post-harvest and marketing technologies for more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable value chains.
Main themes: Sub-tropical banana production
- Protected banana cultivation (greenhouse)
- Production costs and economics
- Use of banana waste
- Climate change
- Increased use of banana diversity at the production level