How Bananas Contributed To The World Economy: Everything You Need To Know About This Exotic Tropical Fruit 2021

The banana is a fruit, or bay deriving from the inflorescence of the banana. Bananas are the fruit climacteric generally very sterile varieties from domesticated. The fruits of wild bananas have seeds and are usually yellow when ripe.

Commercial banana plantations have become a symbol of colonialism: a monoculture imposed to meet the needs of consumers in metropolitan France. In the XIX th century, the United Fruit Company invests in Central America, using its economic power with the threat of military support from the United States to transform the fragile democracies in banana republics. Strictly speaking, these producing countries were not colonies, but the influence of the United Fruit Company, initially in Costa Rica and soon in virtually all of Central America, gave birth to the term “banana republic” to describe the immense power “neocolonial” exercised by the U.S. fruit company. In 1911 for example, when a popular uprising against the government of Honduras, the official reason was given for the intervention of the U.S. military was to protect “American workers” of the United Fruit Company, which had made the country its main supplier of bananas.
Exports at the beginning of XX th century are provided by the steamship producing cold in wedges. The mode of transport by ship reefer needed in the 1950’s as demand grows in developed markets to the north. The 1970’s to 1990 are the owners accumulate large transport capacity online to best fit the mass and containerization of banana exports, defying competition. The transport mode of transport rocker in the 1990s to the reefer container at 55%.


The banana fruit is a long slightly curved, often grouped in clusters on the plant called “regimes”. Banana skin has a yellow or green easy to detach. The inner part is a pulp starch with a sweet taste and consistency generally slush. On the botany, wild banana diploid (2 × 11 chromosomes ) is a bay polycarpic , that is to say containing many seeds angular drives. However, the commercial varieties triploid ( 3 × 11 chromosomes) produce berries parthenocarpic formed without fertilization, which do not contain seeds (if you split this “domestic banana” in the sense of length, there is a longitudinal series of black spots which are eggs unfertilized).

Ripe bananas are rich in potassium and sugars. They are very nourishing ( 90 kcal / 100 g ) and highly digestible due to their low-fat content. That’s why they are most often eaten raw. Bananas are picked green plantations, also called bananas. Less fragile than ripe bananas, they support better transportation. They were immediately transported to distribution centers (export markets), where the ripening process is sometimes enabled by adding fruit to the ethylene ( climacteric fruit. Under natural conditions, this hydrocarbon is produced by the plant itself.

The plant

Although the banana can achieve a relatively large ( 9 meters ), not a tree. Indeed, it does not form a woody trunk. The pseudostem is actually formed by the petioles of leaves. These overlapping and form a supporting structure, a “false trunk. The stalks are at their end a large elongated blade with a central midrib. The leaves can reach 4 m long and 1 m wide. The banana stem is very short and entirely underground. It appears on a rhizome, which regularly produces new shoots. The rhizome is a large mass of long thin roots, located just below the soil surface.


Flowering occurs after seven months and the fruits ripen four months later. After flowering, the banana is dying but at the same time, the underground stem form lateral shoots. It is these that re-form new plants.

After about a year and a half, the banana is able to flourish. The underground stem forms a inflorescence which develops through the “false trunk” to appear in the hollow center of the leaves. Initially, the inflorescence is upright but under the effect of weight, it will quickly become pending. The flowers appear at the end of the inflorescence (ie below) are male, those located closer to the beginning of the axis (ie above) are females. The latter will give rise to bananas. Between male and female flowers, there may still be sterile flowers. On the axis of the inflorescence, the flowers are located in several rows double cross. Each row is double protected by a bract purple. Each day, one will curl and bract fall, freeing the flowers can be pollinated. Flowers pollinated fruit will give birth. In nature, these are the bats that pollinate. Each plan can have up to 200 fruits . Bananas are usually sold as “hands”, each corresponding to a double row of female flowers.


Bananas are definitely among the tropical fruits the most important. In 1992 , total production amounted to 66 million tonnes (bananas and plantains), it was surpassed by the production of citrus .The banana market has been liberalized since 2006. The exports are a result of rapid and recent. Three major export destinations of bananas transport reefer remain:

  • the United States from Central America (historical area of dollar bananas)   
  • Japan since the Philippines   
  • Europe from Africa and Latin America.

To give a brief overview of economic dependencies in 2008 caused by the banana economy liberalized, Latin America exported 10.3 million tons of bananas while Asian exports 1.9 million .

The global market for bananas is dominated by three to 60% U.S. multinationals:

  • Chiquita Brands International   
  • Dole Fruit Company   
  • Del Monte Foods

At the macroeconomic level, the share of the final price – paid by the consumer – who returns to the producer countries is 10 to 20%. From men and women who work in the plantations is 1.5 to 3%. In Guatemala for example, most employees in the banana industry do not earn the minimum wage of $ 5 per day.

Bananas are an essential part of diet food in some developing countries and are a staple food for millions of people in the tropics.

The word “banana” comes from the Portuguese , itself probably borrowed from the Bantu of Guinea or the Arabic ‘banan’  in the expression reported in Portuguese in 1602 ” Banana Figuera . It is called ” fig “in Creole to the Meeting and the Caribbean .


Bananas are rooted in an area from India to southern China via Burma, Taiwan to northern Australia and Polynesia via the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea. Still found in these regions of wild banana seeds rich and poor pulp in open areas (clearings, forest edges). Traces of banana production for human consumption have been found in Malaysia and New Guinea, and date back about seven thousand years

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