KENYA – Taita Taveta County has launched an ambitious plan to export 7000 metric tons (MT) of organic bananas to Denmark annually starting this year, 2024.

Spearheaded by Honorable En Mate, a member of the County Executive Committee responsible for Agriculture, the initiative aims to leverage the county’s agricultural potential and establish itself as a significant player in the global market.

Speaking on behalf of the county government, Kyongo affirmed their commitment to rejuvenating the stalled banana processing plant in Taveta.

He stated, “We are in advanced talks with Orana Fresh Fruits Company, a Danish firm willing to finalize the operationalization of the plant. We anticipate dispatching the first batch of 700MT this year.”

The project enjoys support from various quarters, notably through a partnership between Danida Market Development Program (DMDP) and the County Government of Taita Taveta.

Under this collaboration, 500 farmers are set to benefit from 126,000 banana seedlings, facilitating increased production and export capacity.

Governor Mwadime emphasized the significance of the initiative, highlighting its potential to bolster the local economy and provide livelihoods for numerous households.

He remarked, “Banana farming holds immense promise for our county, offering a clear path to prosperity and food security. By embracing organic farming practices and leveraging modern techniques, we can create sustainable employment opportunities and elevate our agricultural sector.”

The implementation of the project is facilitated by the Micro Enterprise Support Program Trust (MESPT), with Danish expertise and funding playing a crucial role. Kuria Kung’u, manager of DMDP, underscored the importance of providing farmers with high-quality tissue-cultured seedlings to ensure the project’s success.

During a meeting with farmers, MESPT outlined ambitious production targets, aiming to distribute 600,000 tissue-cultured banana seedlings to at least 2000 farmers by June 2025.

This effort, supported by the cultivation of Grand Nain, FHIA 17, William Hybrid, and Giant Cavendish varieties, seeks to significantly enhance banana production in the region.

Kung’u expressed optimism regarding the project’s prospects, stating, “Despite challenges, we are confident in our ability to achieve our targets.”

“With concerted efforts and strategic partnerships, we can unlock the full potential of banana farming in Taita Taveta County.”

As the county embarks on this ambitious endeavor, it signals a paradigm shift towards sustainable agriculture and global market integration.

With stakeholders rallying behind the initiative, Taita Taveta County is poised to emerge as a key player in the international banana trade, fostering economic growth and prosperity for its residents.

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