A few views of the processing area, there were several processing areas throughout the plantation. We were told that there are 45 workers per shift to take care of all the banana plants (this plantation was hugh), and they are growing year round because there is no winter here. The whole process seems quite labor intensive as the work is done mostly by hand. Just putting in the seperators and covering the bananas seems like it would take a long time.
Enjoy your bananas we are!
Banana trees really are not trees in the sense that they produce year after year like an apple tree. Each plant only produces once then it sends out shoots. The workers choose the stongest shoot and let it grow meanwhile the old plant is cut down. It takes 9-12 months for a plant to produce. Notice in the pictures the old plants that have been cut down, and some of the new shoots coming up.
Ready for shipment. These bananas go all over the world, we saw labels for Italy and Argentiana.
The workers had gone home for the day so the gentelman that was showing us around showed us how they pack the bananas for shiping.
When the bananas are sorted any that are too small or too large are tossed aside, we were told that these are sent to Quito and Guayaquil.
Then they are placed an racks to dry and prepared for packing. They are sprayed with chemicals to keep them from ripeing.
They are then placed in large tubs of water to clean them and remove any insects or spiders.
The bunches of bananas are huge and I am sure very heavy. They are picked and hung on hooks for easier handeling.
Each tree produces 1 bunch of bananas. The bananas are seperated by a foam divider to help them grow properly and covered with plastic to protect them from insects and spiders.
August 1, 2011
After our first day of training we took a little trip to a banana plantation. This area of Ecuador is full of very large banana plantations. Next time you buy bananas take a look and see if they came from Ecuador. It was interesting to see the whole process and to actually get to be in among the plants not just taking pictures from a moving car.