Exports dwindle despite banana production increase

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Banana production in the country has increased by 180 percent due to introduction of out-growers’ programmes and increase in hectarage by local farmers, says Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).
CZI national vice president, Richard Chiwandire, said Manicaland province has produced 36,975 tonnes contributing 81 percent while other provinces combined produced 8,800 tonnes (29%).
He said in total Zimbabwe produced 45,775 tonnes in 2017 against 16 000tonnes in 2015.
“Banana production increased in 2017 due to introduction of out-growers programmes and increase in hectarage at plantations in areas such as Honde Valley, Burma Vallley, Chipinge, Rusitu, Chibuwe and Mutema,”said Chiwandire while addressing a business forum in Mutare recently.
He, however, said exports were low in 2017 as compared to 2015 where the country exported over 5 000 tonnes.
In 2017, the country exported 2,000 tonnes to South Africa and Zambia.
“Local sales were at 34,975 tonnes (95%) while exports were at 2,000 tonnes (2%),” said Chiwandire.
He said Matanuska contributed 14,472 tonnes while other producers produced 22,500 tonnes (61%).
Chiwandire said Burma Valley produced 13,425(36%), Honde Valley 4,100(11%), Rusitu Valley 5,000(14%), Chipinge 9,050(24%), Mutema and Chibuwe combined 5,400(15%).
“Introduction of world class banana farming techniques and availability of funding from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to out growers’ farmers increased production,” said CZI deputy president.
Chiwandire, however, said export market is still difficult for small scale farmers due to quality and price.
“The terrain in areas such as Honde Valley is difficult to farm bananas competitively,” he said.Advertisement