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Banana leaves and pseudostems

Datasheet

Description
Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Banana, french plantain, plantain, cooking banana [English]; banane, plantain, banane plantain [French]; platano [Spanish]; banana caturra, banana da terra, banana de São Tomé, banana maçã, banana ouro, banana prata [Portuguese]; piesang [Afrikaans]; bannann [Haitian creole]; pisang [Indonesian]; umuneke [Kinyarwanda]; ndizi [Swahili]; saging [Tagalog]; muz [Turkish]; chuối [Vietnamese]; ọ̀gẹ̀dẹ̀ [Yoruba]; موز [Arabic]; কলা [Bengali]; 香蕉, 甘蕉, 芎蕉, 芽蕉 [Chinese]; 바나나 [Korean]; موز [Farsi]; μπανάνα [Greek]; કેળાં [Gujarati]; バナナ[Japanese]; केला [Hindi]; ចេក [Khmer]; केळ [Marathi]; केरा [Nepali]; Банан [Russian]; வாழை [Tamil]; กล้วย [Thai]; کیلا [Urdu]

Products:

  • Banana foliage, banana leaves, banana foliage, banana leaf meal, banana tops, banana crop residues
  • Banana pseudostems, banana stalks, banana stems, banana trunk
Species 
Description 

While banana production is a fruit crop, it generates large amounts of forage material that can be used to feed livestock.

  • Banana leaves, which grow continuously from the center of the stem, are broad blades, 1-4 m long x 0.7-1 m wide, with a pronounced supporting midrib. Banana leaves and petioles are sometimes called banana tops. 
  • Banana pseudostems, usually called banana stems, banana stalks or banana trunks, are cylindrical, made of overlapping leaf-sheaths, and 20-50 cm in diameter. 

Banana leaves and pseudostems can be fed to animals in fresh, ensiled or dried form (Ecoport, 2010; Ecocrop, 2010).

Distribution 

Banana leaves and pseudostems are a by-product of banana production and are usually available near to the fields and processing plants. They can be found in all tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, America, Africa and Australia where bananas are grown. For more information about the distribution of bananas, see the Banana (general) datasheet.

Forage management 

Banana production yields large quantities of forage biomass. For an average crop fruiting 1.5 times a year, forage biomass can amount to 13 t/ha/year (Ffoulkes et al., 1977).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Banana leaves contain about 85% water and 10-17% protein (DM basis). Pseudostems contain mostly water (92-95%) and very little protein (3-4.5% DM) (Ffoulkes et al., 1977). Fibre content is high, in the 50-70% DM range for NDF and about 30-40% DM for ADF (Feedipedia, 2011).

Potential constraints 

Banana foliage contains large amounts of total polyphenols (up to 8% DM), mostly in the leaves, but very few condensed tannins (Marie-Magdeleine et al., 2010).

Ruminants 

Banana foliage is a useful source of roughage in many tropical countries. Particularly, it can be used as an emergency feed in case of drought or feed shortage (Reynolds, 1995). Pseudostems and leaves can be fed separately or mixed together. They can be fed fresh or sun-dried, whole or chopped. Pseudostems are easily ensiled if chopped and mixed with an easily fermentable source of carbohydrates such as molasses or rice bran. The silage is of good quality (Göhl, 1982).

Banana foliage cannot meet animal requirements alone and must be supplemented with nitrogen and energy, or be part of a diet containing other feeds and forages (Ffoulkes et al., 1978a).

Digestibility and degradability

There are significant differences in degradability and digestibility between banana leaves and pseudostems. Unlike other plants, the digestibility of stems is higher (75%) than that of leaves (65%) (Ffoulkes et al., 1978a) and OM and DM disappearance follow the same pattern (Kimambo et al., 1991). The probable explanation is that the erectness of pseudostems is achieved by the way in which water is held in the cells, and not by the presence of high levels of lignin in the cell wall. The high tannin content of leaves may also explain their lower digestibility (Marie-Magdeleine et al., 2010; Kimambo et al., 1991).

Intake

DM intake for pseudostems is very low (13 g/day/kg W for Zebu cattle, 6.6 for goats), probably due to their high moisture and low protein content (Geoffroy et al., 1978; Ffoulkes et al., 1978a). DM intake for leaves is higher (23 g/day/kg W in Zebu, 13.6 for goats, 20 for lambs) (Geoffroy et al., 1978; Ffoulkes et al., 1978a; Marie-Magdeleine et al., 2010).

Cattle

There have been many experiments concluding on the positive effects of banana foliage when well supplemented or used in complete diets (Reynolds, 1995).

Beef cattle

Inclusion of banana leaf meal up to 40% in the forage ration increased weight gain and feed efficiency of Zebu cattle and sheep (Garcia et al., 1973). In growing calves, a 40:60 mixture of pseudostems and corn silage reduced feed costs and increased digestibility, but DM intake and body weight decreased (Dormond et al., 2001). In the Seychelles, young crossbred Jersey steers fed chopped banana leaf and pseudostem residues supplemented with urea/molasses and leucaena foliage experienced growth rates of 0.4 kg/day (Preston et al., 1987). Weight gains between 0.5 and 0.7 kg/day were obtained on steers fed banana tops supplemented with molasses and urea (Rowe et al., 1978). In Zanzibar, banana forage could provide maintenance rations in the dry season and reasonable growth in penned animals when combined with other feeds (Reynolds et al., 1983).

Dairy cattle

Fresh banana foliage could be included up to 15% (diet DM) in the rations of lactating cows without significantly altering milk production, though dairy performance and digestibilities decreased as banana foliaged increased in the diet (El-Ghani, 1999).

Ensiling banana foliage with other ingredients can be a valuable strategy. Banana foliage and wheat straw (75:25) ensiled with molasses and urea could replace 50% of green maize in the diets of Red Sindhi cows without altering milk yield (Baloch et al., 1988). Banana foliage ensiled with broiler litter (40:60) and molasses or whey was included at 15% (diet DM) in the diets of lactating buffaloes and was well accepted without adverse effect on milk production (Khattab et al., 2000).

Sheep and goats

Dried banana stalks have been fed to goats (20% of diet DM) (Poyyamozhi et al., 1986) and to sheep up to 50 % with no adverse effects, but daily weight gains were low. Their value was comparable to that of other crop residues such as cereal and rice straws and sugarcane tops (Viswanathan et al., 1989). The value of banana foliage for lamb growth was found to be quite poor, possibly due to the low energy intake (Marie-Magdeleine et al., 2010). In kids, green banana leaves could be included safely up to 25 % of the total diet protein (Hembade et al., 2004).

Ensiling with urea was preferable to drying when feeding banana foliage to sheep (Shoukry et al., 1999).

Anthelmintic properties

The anthelmintic properties of banana foliage, which may be linked to terpenoid and flavonoid compounds, have been demonstrated in lambs, goats and cattle (Marie-Magdeleine et al., 2010; Oliveira et al., 2010; Braga et al., 2001; Olivo et al., 2007). However, further studies are required to establish proper management techniques that use banana leaves to control parasites (Olivo et al., 2007).

Pigs 

Like other banana products, banana foliage and crop residues can be a important staple food for pigs for smallholders in banana-producing areas (Buragohain et al., 2010). Banana leaf meal could replace up to 15% of diet DM in growing pigs, resulting in satisfactory average daily gain and feed conversion (García et al., 1991). However, plantain leaf meal had a detrimental effect on ileal and faecal digestibility of most nutriments, including protein, which suggest that it should be used at low inclusion rates in pig diets (Ly et al., 1997).

Anthelmintic properties have been demonstrated in the 1950s but need to be confirmed by more recent research (Olivo et al., 2007).

Poultry 

Dried plantain leaves replacing 10% of a standard diet in broilers did not affect feed efficiency or feed conversion, and plantain leaves resulted in a slightly better growth than Clitoria ternatea leaves (Marin et al., 2003). Banana leaves were found to be a poor substitute for fish meal and affected broiler performance (Islam et al., 1994).

Rabbits 

Rabbits could be fed up to 40% banana leaves without negative effects on growth, feed intake and physiology, while a 60% inclusion rate reduced DM intake (Rohilla et al., 2000). In rabbits fed diets containing either 30% sun-dried banana leaves, 30% fresh banana leaves or a 30% combination of fresh and dry leaves, there were no significant differences in weight gains but intake was higher for animals fed fresh leaves. Net returns over feed costs were highest for rabbits fed dried leaves (Fomunyam, 1985).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 7.7 1
Crude fibre % DM 48.2 1
Ether extract % DM 5.8 1
Ash % DM 16.2 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.9 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 8.1 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.6 1
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 14.4 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 2.6 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:42

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 94.3 0.4 94.0 94.7 3
Crude protein % DM 14.6 4.2 9.9 17.9 3
Crude fibre % DM 27.9 4.2 24.0 31.6 4
NDF % DM 55.7 1
ADF % DM 40.0 1
Lignin % DM 8.2 1
Ether extract % DM 7.7 3.6 11.8 2
Ash % DM 8.9 0.9 8.0 9.8 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.5 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.4 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Bhannasiri, 1970; FUSAGx/CRAW, 2009; Marin et al., 2003; Ohlde et al., 1982

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:42

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 6.9 0.7 6.0 7.6 4
Crude protein % DM 3.5 2.5 2.1 11.5 13
Crude fibre % DM 23.7 6.4 13.4 33.1 13
Ether extract % DM 1.5 0.7 0.9 3.6 13
Ash % DM 11.3 2.4 6.2 15.6 13
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 16.7 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.0 3.6 0.7 13.7 13
Phosphorus g/kg DM 0.9 0.6 0.5 2.6 13
Potassium g/kg DM 40.8 15.3 15.1 64.4 12
Magnesium g/kg DM 3.7 1.3 2.2 6.9 12
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 53.0 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 8.8 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

CIRAD, 1991; Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:48

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 7.2 2.1 5.1 9.8 5
Crude protein % DM 5.1 2.6 2.4 8.8 7
Crude fibre % DM 28.9 5.4 20.5 34.5 5
NDF % DM 57.7 12.6 40.5 69.5 4
ADF % DM 45.3 2.5 42.7 47.6 3
Lignin % DM 8.8 1.4 7.2 10.0 3
Ether extract % DM 3.5 1.6 1.9 5.9 5
Ash % DM 15.4 7.2 2.9 24.7 7
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 16.6 10.9 16.6 2 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.5 3.2 3.1 11.6 6
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.9 4.3 0.4 11.5 6
Potassium g/kg DM 53.5 28.4 12.0 86.0 5
Sodium g/kg DM 0.7 0.8 0.2 1.9 4
Magnesium g/kg DM 9.2 4.8 13.6 2
Zinc mg/kg DM 129 116 142 2
Copper mg/kg DM 4 2 7 2
Iron mg/kg DM 310 231 51 496 3
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 44.7 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.4 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Ankrah, 1974; Holm, 1971; Nguyen Nhut Xuan Dung et al., 2002; Poyyamozhi et al., 1986; Sen, 1938; Shem et al., 1999

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:42

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 16.0 1
Crude protein % DM 16.6 3.2 6.4 19.1 13
Crude fibre % DM 26.1 3.4 22.4 31.2 13
NDF % DM 55.0 10.2 40.2 69.5 11
ADF % DM 31.5 6.6 24.7 44.0 10
Lignin % DM 8.5 2.6 5.9 13.1 8
Ether extract % DM 0.8 1
Ash % DM 11.1 1.0 9.8 13.1 13
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.7 *
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 74.0 1
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 70.4 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 12.4 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.9 *
ME ruminants (FAO, 1982) MJ/kg DM 9.9 1
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 54.7 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

FAO, 1969; FUSAGx/CRAW, 2009

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:43

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 8.7 1
Crude fibre % DM 47.2 1
Ether extract % DM 2.8 1
Ash % DM 17.1 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.1 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 16.0 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 2.7 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Patel, 1966

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:48

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 20.7 3.4 16.7 23.7 5
Crude protein % DM 9.5 2.4 2.6 13.2 14
Crude fibre % DM 28.6 3.8 19.1 34.8 14
Ether extract % DM 5.6 2.1 1.1 8.7 14
Ash % DM 11.4 1.4 9.5 13.7 14
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.1 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 16.7 6.4 5.3 30.0 14
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.2 0.3 0.6 1.7 14
Potassium g/kg DM 25.1 8.9 14.9 50.3 13
Magnesium g/kg DM 3.6 0.8 1.9 4.5 13

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

CIRAD, 1991; Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:44:48

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Archimède H., 2016. Banana leaves and pseudostems. Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. http://www.feedipedia.org/node/686 Last updated on March 25, 2016, 11:24

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)