For about 20 years, the Saba Saba Agribusiness Cooperative Society in Murang’a been aspiring to do value addition on bananas, striving to produce various products which can earn them more money, other than just relying on selling of bananas for ripening.
Subsequently, the cooperative -which started in 2004 with only 50 members- is currently in the process of securing a grant from National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) to set up a Sh20 million facility, which will in turn help them in adding value to their banana products.
The chairman of the society Alex Kamau Muchoki has said plans to acquire the grant were at an advanced stage and soon they will embark on constructing the facility in a one-acre piece of land, owned by the cooperative society. Currently the cooperative collects bananas from both members and non-members of the organisation and sells them to buyers from outside the county.
Kenyanupdates.co.ke wrote an article stating that, according to Muchoki, collective selling of the produce has helped farmers earn better prices as brokers have been locked out from accessing bananas directly from the farms. “Our members bring their bananas at our collection centre in Saba Saba and we record the number of kilos of the produce each farmer has delivered, then payments are done through their bank accounts,” Muchoki stated.
The chairman observed that with the envisaged value addition, they will be able to come up with various products which will fetch high prices, thus increasing earnings to farmers.