With the rains on, this is the right time to begin desuckering and spacing to target high banana yields, experts say.
Desuckering removes excess suckers to maintain one mother plant, one daughter and a granddaughter.
To increase income from matooke, it is better to have many medium sized bunches, than few large bunches. To get medium-sized bunches a farmer needs to increase plant spacing in dry areas since the matooke plants need more water during this time.
The ideal plant spacing for medium-sized bunches in the four rainfall zones in Uganda differs. The dry zones that receive less than 1,000mm per annum should have spacing of three metres by three metres. The zones that are slightly wet and (receiving 1,000 to 1,200mm per annum of rain) should have a spacing of three metres by two metres.
The third zone that receives 1,200 to 1,400mm per annum spacing should be two and half metres by two metres. The fourth zone which receives 1,400mm and above should have a spacing of two metres by two metres.
Matooke remains one of the most important food crops in Uganda produced by millions of smallholds with yields are as low as five to 30 metric tonnes per hectare a year compared to potential yields of 70 metric tonnes.