Are bananas native to Africa? (2023)

Are bananas native to Africa?

Indeed, banana cultivation was the economic backbone of some African kingdoms that thrived before European colonization. Until recently, most African scholars assumed that the banana, which is native to New Guinea, was not introduced into Africa earlier than about 2000 years ago.

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Where do bananas come from originally?

Bananas are thought to have been first domesticated in Southeast Asia, and their consumption is mentioned in early Greek, Latin, and Arab writings; Alexander the Great saw bananas on an expedition to India.

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Are bananas indigenous to the New World?

Bananas were first grown in Southeast Asian jungles. Most people believe that bananas originated in the country of Malaysia because of the large variety of bananas found there. It is likely that they were the first fruit to be farmed by humans. Bananas were brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

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Can you still get Gros Michel bananas?

Even though you won't find Gros Michel bananas in grocery stores because they are no longer commercially grown, they are still grown today by small-scale farmers.

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What fruit is originally from Africa?

For probably as long as people have lived in Africa, they have eaten culturally and traditionally important indigenous fruits such as baobab, desert date, black plum, and tamarind.

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When did bananas reach Africa?

The bananas we enjoy today are far better than the original wild fruit which contained many large, hard seeds and not much tasty pulp. Bananas as we know them began to be developed in Africa about 650 AD. There was a cross breeding of two varieties of wild bananas, the Musa Acuminata and the Musa Baalbisiana.

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Why are we genetically close to bananas?

The overlap exists because we all evolved from a common ancestor, a single-celled organism that lived three or four billion years ago, known as the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).

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What is the dark history of bananas?

Laborers made low wages while American fruit companies made most of the money. Over much of the 20th century, banana companies like United Fruit effectively took over governments in countries like Guatemala and Honduras, leading to the countries' model being known as “banana republics”.

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How close are we genetically to a banana?

We do in fact share about 50% of our genes with plants – including bananas.” “Bananas have 44.1% of genetic makeup in common with humans.”

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What is the most common fruit in Africa?

#1 – Pineapples

The pineapple is a very popular and widely consumed fruit in many parts of Africa. It is second only to bananas as the most important harvested fruit. Despite the perfect fit that Africa's tropical climate and soils have for pineapples, very few countries on the continent are big producers of the fruit.

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Who brought plantains to Africa?

Referenced in Islamic literature in the 11th century BCE, muslim merchants carried the banana along trade routes to and from various places in South Asia and the Middle East. By the 1200s, the banana had reached into North Africa and in Moorish-controlled Spain.

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