Banana Value Chain Enterprises In Taita Taveta:
This is an association of Banana Farmers in Taita Taveta County that will enhance Banana Farming from production to marketing. This will be achieved through involvement of the various enterprises that are directly or indirectly involved in banana farming.
Nutritional Value of Bananas
Bananas provide the following nutrients:
• Vitamins A, B-complex, C
VACID Africa Initiatives for Banana Farming in Taita Taveta
As a service provider, VACID Africa will enhance the banana farming in Taita Taveta through the introduction of the following enterprises:
1. Banana processing and value addition enterprise
Bananas can be processed into a number of value added products. With some investments in machinery such as dryer and grinder, bananas can be processed into a variety of goods ranging from banana flours to purees.
EXAMPLES OF VALUE ADDEDED/ PROCESSED BANANA PRODUCTS
1. Banana flours
2. Banana flour blends
3. Banana jellies
4. Banana jams,
5. Banana purees,
6. Banana baby foods,
7. Banana crisps
8. Canned banana slices
9. Dried ripe bananas
10. Dried banana flakes
11. Banana starch
2. Banana tissue culture Nursery Enterprises
When tissue culture bananas are brought from tissues culture labs, they require hardening before farmers can plant them in their farms. Individuals and groups can invest in such stations/ nurseries where they stock seedlings to harden before selling them to farmers when they are strong and able to adapt and survive in the farms.
3. Irrigation and water supply enterprises
Banana production requires enormous amounts of water. Water from the rains may not be adequate especially during the dry season and thus may require irrigation. An organized water supply may be set up to offer irrigation services to farmers to optimize on banana production.
4. Agro-input enterprises
For the supply of farm inputs in banana production, an agro-input supply is an investment area to benefit both the farmers and the investors. Agro- input enterprise can be located near the areas where bananas are produced for easy access to pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides, etc.
Bananas requires manure and mulching and not all farmers can produce them on their own thus, individuals and organizations who produces farm yard manures in large scale can also link up with banana farmers and sell their manures to them through these enterprises. Such are individual farmers and organizations who stock chicken in large scale, those who own ranches etc.
5. Collection and Transportation enterprises
Farmers can get together and form a collection point for their bananas. At the collection point, farmers can invest in simple infrastructure to enable them assemble their bananas before they get to processing station. At the processing point, bananas become part of the raw materials.
While processing bananas, transport will be required to get them from the fields to the collection points and later to the processing points.
Farmers in a group can invest in this enterprise or an interested local investor can venture into this enterprise. Timely delivery of bananas and other products will require a lot of commitment to prevent delays and spoilage that can result.
6. Textile Industry Enterprise
All varieties of banana plants have fibers in abundance. These fibers can be obtained while pruning and after the banana fruit is harvested and thus of secondary use of the banana stalk.
Banana fibers fall in the group of bast fibers. Banana plant has long been a good source for high quality textiles in many parts of the world, especially in Japan and Nepal, and are used mostly used in India, USA and can be adopted elsewhere in the world.
7. Handicraft Enterprises
Dried banana leaves are can intertwined decoratively to produce ropes, fishing strings, caps, handbags, mats of different types and a range interior decors.
A group of people in the locality can come together and gather their skills in making a range of these items using banana fibres. These items can be sold in different outlets both locally and regionally.