Eleven dessert banana cultivars were evaluated on vertisols at Pawe for four consecutive cropping cycles. The experiment was established using a randomized complete block design with three replications and analysis of variance and correlation were carried out to examine the yield and morphological adaptation of yield related characters of the cultivars. The cultivars in the study showed a significant difference (p <0.001) for all characters studied in the experiment. The highest fruit yield (20.1 tones ha-1) was recorded for the cultivar, Dwarf Cavendish (AAA) while Kamaramasenge (AAB) was the lowest with a yield of (6.1 tones ha-1). The Cavendish group varieties Grand Naine, Giant Cavendish, William-1 and William-2 were also high yielders with a yield of 18.9, 18.4, 17.4 and 17.1 tones ha-1, respectively, which were on par with dwarf Cavendish. Characters, days from flowering to harvest, fruit diameter and length, pseudo-stem girth, plant height and number of leaves were significantly influenced by the temporal variations in the study. The Pearson correlation coefficient showed that the characters bunch weight (0.97), number of fruits per bunch (0.85), hands per bunch (0.81), fruit length, pseudo-stem girth at harvest, number of leaves and average weight of single fruit (0.74) were positively correlated to yield at p<0.001. The smallest height of Dwarf Cavendish is perceived as excellent feature for orchard management and low wind damage. Moreover, the medium size of the fruit of the cultivar is also a desirable trait. Hence, the variety Dwarf Cavendish is highly recommended to growers along Belese valley of Metekel and Jawe area, while any of the cultivars like Grand Naine, Giant Cavendish and Williams could be used for cultivation. Inherent fruit quality factors of the cultivars should be studied in the future.
Key words: Banana cultivars, Belese valley, fruit yield.
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