Bananas are one of the most commonly grown fruit crops in Malaysia, but local production has declined in recent years. Through site visits and interviews with 74 smallholder banana farmers, this study sought to know the current situation of the local smallholder banana industry, the challenges faced in commercial banana cultivation, and the use of bio-based technologies to address the challenges. The farmers cited increasing production costs, pests and diseases, and yield uncertainties as major challenges to their plantations’ survival. While they have been using farming techniques, including bio-based technologies, to improve fruit yield, the farmers perceived the current technologies as inadequate in mitigating the impacts of frequent disease outbreaks. The interviews also reveal farmers’ misconceptions on the nature of tissue culture technology, reflecting their poor understanding of how tissue culture works, thus, putting banana farms at risk. Overall, this study’s direct engagements with banana farmers show that correct information and access to technology are a rare privilege for smallholders. Therefore, coordinated efforts to substantially increase support for smallholder farmers is paramount.
|Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development (AJAD)|
|impact evaluation sustainable agriculture technological adoption barriers|
|1656-4383 (print); 2599-3879 (online)|
|Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)|