Meru Banana Value Chains

Meru Banana Value Chains


Going by last year’s Meru’s income, Ksh6B came from banana production and we have potential to outdo this.  But for this to happen there is need for provision of quality seedlings to interested farmers. Additionally, there is need for more capacity building to help farmers increase their productivity, curb pests and many other challenges including diseases. Currently banana farmers in meru have been hard hit by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic due to government’s directive to observe social distancing rules which has seen the closure of all banana market outlets. This has left farmers in a dilemma especially the large scale farmers who have to sell their bananas at prices as low as half the normal prices to brokers who come calling to the farms.

 

The banana value addition chain in meru too needs to grow much like the macadamia, avocados, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and fish value chains. For this to happen there is need to embrace value addition as a means of helping  farmers improve their income from bananas and avoid uncertainties brought about by factors like market prices and  disasters like the Covid -19 pandemic. In line with this, the Meru County government is establishing banana wine brewery which will help widen the market base for the farmers.  

 

By Laban Mugira

Meru and Tharaka Nithi County Coordinator

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