Plantains are a crop belonging to the banana family. Plantains are grown in well-drained soil that has a pH between 6.0 and 7.5, and in temperatures between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius. Plantains begin to mature 18 months after planting and when properly taken care of the plant can produce for as long as six to twenty years. In some other countries like Colombia, it is usually planted alongside with other crops like the cassava, coffee, and fruits because it usually provides shade to these crops. Plantains are usually cooked, roasted, boiled, and steamed either when green or very ripe. They are also processed into flour, snacks, animal feed, and added into other food products that are already processed. It is usually exported by sea when they are still green in containers with appropriate temperatures ranging between 7.8–8.3°C and appropriately packed in boxes covered well that allow proper aeration.
Leading Producers of Plantain
Cameroon is the world's largest producer of plantains. The country exports approximately 4.31 million tons of plantains yearly. They are largely produced in the southern and western part of Cameroon. The fertile soils allow the plantains to grow well. The National Government of Cameroon provides readily available materials and tools needed in the planting of plantains to motivate farmers.
Ghana is the world's second largest plantain producer. Plantains are a staple food in Ghana but are also majorly exported. This acts as a source of income for the country. Ghana exports approximately 3.95 million tons of plantains which are sold either locally, regionally, or at urban markets. Plantains are planted by both small-scale farmers and large-scale farmers.
The third leading country in plantain production is Uganda which produces 3.71 million tons which are locally used and also exported to other countries. In Uganda, plantains are always planted in large-scale farms and usually planted by both small and large-scale farmers. There is a wide market and plantains are also a staple food in the country.
Other Countries That Produce Plantains
Other leading countries in the production of plantains are Colombia which produces 3.54 million tons of plantains yearly which is largely consumed locally and exported to other countries. Nigeria produces 3.09 million tones of plantains by both small-scale farmers and large-scale farmers. There are also other countries like Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo which produce plantains.