Researchers from Wageningen University & Research have harvested the first Dutch bananas grown in greenhouses.

According to Wageningen University & Research the bananas will be offered to restaurants and hospitals in the region of Wageningen by Boerenhart, a supplier of fresh and local products as ‘regional product’.

The cultivation took place on two types of substrates: coco peat and rock wool. This allows the growth of banana without the settlement of aggressive fungi.

Professor of Tropical Plant Pathology Gert Kema says on the WUR-website that they will investigate whether this cultivation offers prospects for further research into mastering Fusarium wilt. “This is due to a soil borne fungal pathogen that threatens the banana production throughout the world. So we took the banana out of the soil.”

More sustainable

The experiment appears to be very successful, says Prof. Kema. “The banana plants grow very well on coco peat and stone wool substrate with only the application of a nutrient solution. The advantage of substrate cultivation is that nutrients can be better tailored to the needs of the plant. In addition, you prevent losses, possibly about 30%, from leakage. The Dutch banana does not need disease control, which makes cultivation more sustainable than in traditional production areas.”