As the Zimbabwean banana sector has been hit by post-harvests losses of close to 30 percent per annum due to oversupply of the fruit, Ropafadzo Zimunya is producing banana flour and expanding to industrial gluten free thickeners which are on high demand in foreign markets.
Zimunya said the business plan, Greenit Diversified Group was conceived two years ago after he completed his Advanced Level (Form Six) together with his business partner Munashe Musarurwa.
Radiovop.com quoted him as saying: “We wanted to create a business that was relevant. I was of the idea that we needed to produce more food (agricultural produce). I wasn’t entirely wrong but I was clearly uninformed. The focus was going to be agribusiness. We turned to an industry that is high output, yet (now that we know) has very little industrial uptake ratio, The Banana Industry.”
Zimunya said he was shocked to discover that as of 2016, the industry incurred 26% in post-harvests losses. Banana production jumped to 45,000 tonnes in 2017 from 16,000 tonnes in 2015 while exports plunged to 2,000 tonnes from 8,000 tonnes during the same period.
However, a total of 8,800 tonnes of bananas were lost due to handling and deformities.