The right time to harvest bananas is quite important and tricky. It must be when they are swollen and green but before they become ripe (plump and yellow). Do not harvest too early (when the bananas are thin and dark green) or too late (when they are thick and turning yellow).

How to harvest

  1. Get at least two people to help you cut the banana pseudostem half way across and half way down.
  2. Let the plant fall down slowly and then remove the bunch from it by cutting the bunch stalk. Chop up the leaves and top part of the pseudostem and lay on the soil as a mulch.
  3. Carry the bunches to the trailer and put them next to each other (not on top of each other).
  • Do not work alone, always work in pairs
  • Do not let the bunches fall to the ground
  • Do not pack the bunches on top of each other
  • Harvest early in the morning when the sun is not too hot
  • Do not leave cut bunches in the sun.
  • Do not cut in the hot afternoon unless overcast
  • Build a pack house in a cool location to hang bunches, remove hands, cut into clusters, pack into cartons and store (on southern side).


Now your bananas are ready to be taken to different markets where they can be sold.

Local market

You can sell your bananas on the streets or at a roadside stall.

Municipal markets

You can arrange with the nearest local market to sell your bananas.


You can have contracts with supermarkets and chain stores which can buy and sell your bananas on a regular basis.

Home use

You can use some bananas for food security at home.

This article is published with acknowledgement to the ARC Institute for the use of their manuals. For more information on banana production, visit the ARC’s website at www.arc.agric.za