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Growers also eye export market for organic bananas

Taita Taveta county banana farmers want to export to Denmark

In Taita Taveta county, a collaboration between the county government and the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT) is set to facilitate the export of 700 tonnes of organic bananas to Orana, a Danish fruit company. This initiative aims to provide a new market for over 500 smallholder banana farmers, promoting environmental conservation and enhancing household incomes in the region. The export deal is anticipated to not only open up new markets but also to support the agricultural sector's growth through the distribution of 126,000 organic tissue culture banana seedlings, with 30,000 already disseminated among farmers.

Under the Danida market developments programme, managed by MESPT, there is a focus on increasing the competitiveness of the banana sector by aiding 1,500 farmers in transitioning from conventional to organic banana farming. This includes the provision of 600,000 tissue culture banana seedlings to meet the annual export capacity target. Furthermore, a pending agreement between the county government and Orana aims to revive a stalled banana processing plant in Taveta, which is expected to create over 800 jobs and expand market access for the crop.

Additionally, the county is exploring the establishment of a sanitary towel manufacturing plant utilizing banana by-products. Orana has committed to training farmers on post-harvest handling to meet export standards and is encouraging increased production to fulfill the anticipated demand. This development comes as banana production in the region has seen significant growth, with the acreage and yields doubling in recent years, making Taita Taveta the second leading banana producer in Kenya.


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