Of the agricultural products, the banana is the fourth most important food product within the least developed countries, being the staple food for some 400 million people. Of all the fruits, it holds first place by production volume and is amongst the five most consumed fruits on the planet.
Some 1,000 varieties of banana trees have been identified in more than 150 countries, producing around 105 to 120 million tonnes (Mt) of fruit a year. There are two main families: the sweet banana and the cooking banana.
The Global Demand
The demand for conventional bananas remained relatively flat over the first decade of the twenty-first century, while the demand for organic bananas increased markedly. Between 2000 and 2010, organic banana imports grew fourfold, from 27,000 tonnes to over 123,000 tonnes. Industry sources have reported that organic bananas represent one of the fastest growing commodities among organic produce, with demand outstripping supply.