Friday, January 23, 2009

This is a wild banana, an ancestor of today's bananas

This photograph shows seed-packed fruit of Musa balbisiana, one of the ancestors of the edible bananas.
The banana may be one of the first crops to be domesticated by man. They may have evolved along with the earliest settled agriculture and may therefore be some tens of thousands of years old.
Banana is now one of the most popular of all fruits.
Although it is viewed as only a dessert or an addition to breakfast cereal in most developed countries, it is actually a very important agricultural product. After rice, wheat and milk, it is the fourth most valuable food. In export, it ranks fourth among all agricultural commodities and is the most significant of all fruits, with world trade totaling $2.5 billion annually.
Yet, only 10% of the annual global output of 86 million tons enters international commerce. Much of the remaining harvest is consumed by poor subsistence farmers in tropical Africa, America and Asia
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http://www.apsnet.org/educa...

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