Skip to main content
Completed project

Growing sub-tropical bananas for quality and yield (BA08003)

Key research provider: Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Publication date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What was it all about?

Currently banana production in Australia is heavily concentrated in north Queensland, where the effects of cyclone can significantly reduce production.

This 2008/09 project investigated the feasibility of growing bananas in Carnarvon in Western Australia. The climate in Carnarvon is arid subtropical with hot dry summers and cool winters. It is considered harsh and marginal for bananas.

Permanent protective structures reduce wind run, radiation and evaporation and can increase ambient and soil temperature. They can significantly improve tree growth, shorten time to production and improve fruit skin quality.

Two demonstration trials were undertaken to…

  • Evaluate the use of protective netting in the form of a fully enclosed structure to improve productivity and profitability
  • Evaluate several planting densities to identify optimal productivity and profitability.

Results showed that protective cultivation of bananas under full enclosure of fabric netting improves productivity in Carnarvon, but is less profitable than producing bananas in the open field.

Current industry standards of planting at three by three metre row and plant spacing with three psuedostems from the one corm was found to be the most profitable option for growers.

As a result of the study of production practices and expert review by Dr John Robinson from South Africa, the team developed a growers’ production guide.


Growers can request a copy of the production manual, Growing bananas in Carnarvon Western Australia, from the Carnarvon office of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. Phone 08 9956 3333 or email

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).