Taita Taveta county to boost banana farming

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According to Agriculture Executive Davis Mwangoma, construction of a Sh116 million banana processing plant is set to start this month. The factory will be built on three acres at the new market site in Taveta.

The project is partially financed by the European Union, which has given Sh110 million, while Governor Granton Samboja’s administration is contributing the remaining Sh6.5 million. The plant will also include a cold storage warehouse for ripening bananas.

Some 55 per cent of the activities at the factory will involve ripening, while 45 per cent will be processing flour, chips and jam.

The factory is projected to boost banana farming in Taveta; farmers there produce an estimated 35 to 60 tonnes per acre annually. A report by the county says there are 5,139.79 acres under banana plantation in Taveta, but farmers complain of low earnings as the produce trades at Sh5 per kilo during off-peak season.

According to standardmedia.co.ke, the plant will be completed by 2023 and will process the produce to meet international standards. “The industry targets to process at least four tonnes of bananas daily, we are already sourcing for a ready market for the finished products,” said Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui.