Where do bananas come from?

Banana´s Origin

Where do bananas come from?

The Banana Journey

It seems like bananas were one of the earlier plants to be cultivated by humans. Bananas migrated originally from South East Asia and probably the Arabs introduced it to the African continent in their expeditions. In fact, the word «banana» comes from Africa. It is also believed that Portuguese navigators and explorers arrived in Guinea while trying to find a way to China, when they saw how the natives grew this fruit and soon adopted it with satisfaction due to its taste. They took it with them to spread it to other territories where it kept the name «banana,» although it has other names such as «plátano,» «guineo,», and «cambur,»  among others.

First commercialized banana variant

One of the first variants marketed in the world was the dessert banana. Its origin was in the Caribbean; then, it spread to Europe and North America. In America, the variety more marketed initially was the Gros Michel. It has been identified that before 1866 the first commercial crops were in Jamaica and Panamá. 

Bananas Today

Today, bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. They are eaten raw as dessert, in the gym, as a companion to cereals or even cooked or baked in great recipes. Bananas are the fourth most valuable food, right after rice, wheat, and milk. They are a great source of nutrients and are well known for their benefits in the digestion process when ripe. This is why people with intestinal disorders can incorporate them into their diet.

Most famous banana variety in the world

There are more than 1,000 different types of bananas globally. The Cavendish variety is the most famous one in the western world. They are bright green when immature ripening to bright golden yellow, with a sweet classic banana flavor that we all enjoy!


Barrios Sandoval, M. (2008). Controles internos a considerar en las pérdidas ocasionadas por un desastre natural en una empresa productora de banano. [Tesis de Licenciatura] Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.

Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre Comercio y Desarrollo. (s.f.). Banano, perfil de INFOCOMM. Organización de las Naciones Unidas. Nueva York, Estados Unidos.

Sabio, C., Sáenz, V., Salgado, C., Salgado, V. (s.f.). Manual de cultivo de banano. Escuela Agrícola Panamericana. Consultado el 2 de abril de 2022. [En línea] https://bdigital.zamorano.edu/bitstream/11036/2933/1/01.pdf

Yegros, M. (2020). Banana: manejo, comercialización y costos. Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología. Universidad Nacional de Asunción        , Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. San Lorenzo, Paraguay.