Explore Courses

Unraveling the Fascinating World of Bananas: IELTS Reading Passage With Questions & Answers

Updated on 09 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


Bananas are more than just a staple fruit; they hold a significant place in global agriculture and economies. For IELTS learners, reading passages often encompass a wide array of topics, and understanding texts about everyday items like bananas can be crucial. Let's peel back the layers of this topic to help you prepare for the IELTS reading section.


Bananas, the world’s most popular fruit, are an integral part of many diets. Originating in Southeast Asia, they have found their way into myths, diets, and economies worldwide. The journey of bananas from exotic to everyday is as rich and diverse as their varieties.

In the lush rainforests of Asia, where the wild ancestors of modern bananas still grow, these fruits were first domesticated thousands of years ago. Cultivation spread throughout the region and eventually reached Africa and the Americas, where bananas became a key crop.

Today, over a thousand varieties of bananas are known, ranging from the sweet and familiar Cavendish, found in supermarkets, to the starchy plantains used in cooking. Each variety has its own unique taste, texture, and color. Despite this diversity, the Cavendish variety accounts for the majority of global exports due to its long shelf life and disease resistance.

Bananas are not only a delicious snack but also a vital source of nutrition. They are rich in potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. This makes them an essential food item in many developing countries, where they are a staple food akin to rice or potatoes in other cultures.

However, the banana industry faces challenges, including the threat of disease, which can decimate crops and impact economies reliant on banana exports. Efforts are ongoing to protect and sustain this crucial agricultural sector.


Q1. Where were bananas first domesticated?

A. Africa

B. The Americas

C. Southeast Asia

D. Europe

Q2. What is the primary variety of bananas exported globally?

A. Plantains

B. Cavendish

C. Gros Michel

D. Lady Finger

Q3. Fill in the blank: Bananas are a staple food in many developing countries, much like ______ or potatoes are in other cultures.

A. Wheat

B. Rice

C. Corn

D. Barley

Q4. True or False: The banana industry does not face any significant challenges.

A. True

B. False

Q5. How many varieties of bananas are known?

A. Over 500

B. Over 1000

C. Over 1500

D. Over 2000

Q6. What nutrients are bananas especially rich in?

A. Protein

B. Potassium

C. Iron

D. Calcium

Q7. True or False: The Cavendish variety has a short shelf life.

A. True

B. False

Q8. Fill in the blank: Bananas originated in _______.

A. South America

B. Africa

C. Southeast Asia

D. Central America

Q9. What is a common use for plantains?

A. As a raw snack

B. In cooking

C. For juicing

D. For brewing

Q10. True or False: There is only one type of banana available in supermarkets.

A. True

B. False

Answers with Explanations:

A1. C. Southeast Asia

Explanation: The passage states that bananas were first domesticated in the rainforests of Asia, making Southeast Asia the correct answer.

A2. B. Cavendish

Explanation: According to the passage, the Cavendish variety is noted for its long shelf life and disease resistance, making it the primary export.

A3. B. Rice

Explanation: The blank is filled by 'rice', drawing a parallel to the role of bananas as a staple food in many cultures.

A4. B. False

Explanation: The passage clearly mentions the challenges faced by the banana industry, including disease, which can devastate crops.

A5. B. Over 1000

Explanation: It's stated that over a thousand varieties of bananas are known, indicating the diversity of this fruit.

A6. B. Potassium

Explanation: Bananas are specifically highlighted for their richness in potassium, among other nutrients.

A7. B. False

Explanation: The passage indicates that the Cavendish variety is preferred for export due to its long shelf life.

A8. C. Southeast Asia

Explanation: The origin of bananas is linked to Southeast Asia, as mentioned in the beginning part of the passage.

A9. B. In cooking

Explanation: Plantains are starchy and used in cooking, differentiating them from other sweet, raw-eaten banana varieties.

A10. B. False

Explanation: The passage mentions that the Cavendish is commonly found in supermarkets but also notes the existence of over a thousand varieties.

Tips to Crack IELTS Reading Test:

Tip 1: Skim the passage first to get a general idea of the content before diving into specific questions.

Tip 2: Look for keywords in the questions that will help guide you to the part of the passage where the answer can be found.

Tip 3: Practice time management by allocating no more than one to two minutes per question.

Tip 4: For true/false questions, remember that the answer must be explicitly stated in the text. If the information is not there, the statement cannot be considered true.

Tip 5: Don’t overthink fill-in-the-blank questions; often, your first instinct is correct, especially if you have comprehended the passage well.

By providing this detailed passage, along with targeted questions and comprehensive explanations, IELTS candidates can practice and refine the skills needed to excel in the reading section of the exam. Combining these practice tools with the strategic tips offered will enhance the learners' ability to understand and analyze passages effectively, setting them on the path to success in the IELTS reading exam.

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

See More