The Top 10 Countries That Grow the Most Bananas
Even though the Fusarium fungus disease makes the banana’s future uncertain, bananas are grown and exported worldwide. Dozens of countries grow bananas, but a few really stand out as being the largest banana-producing countries.
There are over 1,000 types of bananas and families keep a bunch of bananas ready to grab as a snack. However, most people only eat one or two varieties. The most common type is the cavendish, which makes up about 47% of all commercially available bananas. They’re full of nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamin C, A, potassium, and magnesium.
Here are the top ten banana producing countries, using the most recent yield data from the Food and Agriculture Organization.
#10 Costa Rica — 2,556,767 Tons
Costa Rica, home to great coffee, La Fortuna Waterfall, five active volcanoes, and over 100 dormant volcanoes is also the tenth largest banana producer in the world. The country is full of beauty and has one of the most diverse ecosystems, combined with the cuteness of one of the oddest-looking animals — sloths.
#9 United Republic of Tanzania — 3,588,510 Tons
Usually called Tanzania, the United Republic of Tanzania formed in 1964 when Tanganyika and Zanzibar united and is on the eastern coast of Africa. Tanzania has numerous attractions, but for bananas, is the ninth largest banana producing country in the world. They are also known for their coffee exports, the African Great Lakes, and the Serengeti National Park.
#8 Guatemala — 4,272,644 Tons
And we head back over to Central America for the eighth largest banana-producing country — Guatemala. This small, mostly tropical country is also known for its coffee production, which often lands in gourmet blends. Also known for being the birthplace of the Mayan culture, Guatemala is incredibly biodiverse and over 16% of its land is protected by the government.
#7 Angola — 4,345,799 Tons
The seventh largest country in Africa also happens to be the seventh largest banana producer in the world. This western African nation is also home to the endangered giant sable antelope, which experts believed was extinct in 1982 until they rediscovered the species in 2006. The good news is that it’s not extinct. However, the giant sable antelope is critically endangered.
#6 Philippines — 5,942,215 Tons
The Philippines’ nearly six-million tons of bananas produced annually puts them squarely in the number six spot for banana production. This Southeast Asian archipelago with over 7,000 islands was controlled by Spain for over 300 years — our modern name, Philippines, is a direct reference to Spain’s King Philip II.
#5 Ecuador — 7,012,244 Tons
Ecuador is the fifth-largest banana producing country in the world. However, it is also known for something else: The Panama hat. They’ve been woven in Ecuador since at least the 16th century and are so embedded in the culture that they designated the Panama hat a UNESCO Intangible Heritage Item in 2012. The small country is also home to the Galapagos Islands and is the orchid capital of the world.
#4 Brazil — 6,811,374 Tons
Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Brazil is also a big banana producer, number four on the list, to be exact. Brazil’s biggest banana producing region is São Paulo, but other areas like Prata, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte also produce vast quantities of the large berry. Yes, bananas are berries! Yet, Brazil isn’t just a banana producer, they’re also the largest Brazil nut producer worldwide, harvesting over 40,000 metric tons — over 90% of the world’s production.
#3 Indonesia — 8,741,146 Tons
Indonesia’s tropical climate and volcanic soil makes it a perfect for bananas While its size compared to India and China make it impossible for the island nation to compete in overall quantity, Indonesia’s place as the third largest banana producer in the world is relatively secure. Their banana producing regions include Sumatra, Java, and Kalimantan.
#2 China — 11,724,200 Tons
Perhaps not surprising, given China’s size and many areas with appropriate banana growing regions, but China is the second-largest banana producer in the world. The economic giant produces a respectable number of bananas, but of their banana producing regions, the island of Hainan has the best banana growing climate. Other Chinese banana producing provinces include Yunnan, Quangdong, and Quanxi.
#1 India — 33,062,000 Tons
Banana “trees” aren’t trees at all, but giant herbaceous plants. They grow best in volcanic and alluvial soils, which India has in abundance. India’s climate varies from arid desert to humid jungle. Bananas grow in tropical or subtropical climates, so they’re limited to certain areas. Still, India is the number one banana producer worldwide.
The Indian province of Andhra produces more bananas than other provinces like Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, and Maharashtra.
Summary of Top Ten Banana Producing Countries
|9||United Republic of Tanzania||3,588,510 Tons|
|10||Costa Rica||2,556,767 Tons|
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