Zimbabwe: New banana varieties for Rusitu Valley

Zimbabwe’s Rusitu Valley is one of the country’s biggest banana producing areas and sustains hundreds of small-scale farmers who have grown the crop since time immemorial. The federal government, through Agritex, has partnered with Care International to improve the quality of bananas produced in Rusitu Valley and boost revenues for the farmers there.

A major chunk of the crop was affected by mudslides that occurred during Cyclone Idai-induced floods in March last year. The floods flattened a significant number of trees and uprooted some, and in most cases, it washed away the fertile top soil which affected the quality of the crop being produced.

Bananas being the biggest revenue earner for the small-scale farmers in the area, this will have far reaching consequences on their incomes.

Chimanimani Agritex officer Shupai Majee told The Herald that the initiative with Care International would not only restore the livelihoods of the farmers but would also improve the cultivars and varieties of the bananas being produced in the Valley.

Funding for the initiative is part of an input support scheme being rolled out by the NGO towards the current maize crop, other perennial crops and fruit trees in Chimanimani.

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