Banana Value Addition: So Many Unexplored Opportunities.

By Lynette Simango

It’s not enough as farmers to say we are doing our best. We have got to succeed in doing what pays. I once came across an article that talked about how banana production had changed the face of Honde Valley. It was very captivating as i read it paragraph by paragraph and it ended on a good note. There was hope for Honde Valley farmers! The weather conditions were in their favor what else could they cry for. Then it hit me, was that all they could do- growing bananas and selling them. It’s only when you sit down and think outside the box that you get these kind of questions.

As a student I attended a presentation by a gentleman who shared a business idea about making banana chips. I remember vividly how articulate he was as he tried to convince the panel why they should fund his project. During the presentation, my mind decided to go on a journey. I wondered how Banana chips would taste like, Yuks, i said to myself, why would people disrespect potatoes like that. Nothing will ever compete with potatoes or replace them when it comes to chips, i tried to convince  myself.

Two years later i visited a certain guy at his office. In the middle of a conversation he opened his drawer and showed me a 2 kg packet of flour. Guess what- it was banana flour. She said a friend of his was trying to make flour from bananas and put it on the market. Interesting right. How innovative can man be. I said they should go ahead and I was going to be their first customer. They never came back to me.

I had almost forgotten about bananas and it’s by products when a good friend of mine invited me to his office over lunch time. He then offered me a packet of banana chips-cheese flavored. Someone finally did it. Excuse my limited knowledge. You might have seen it before I did but the good thing is, it’s now on the market and it tastes good.

It’s no lie that banana is going to be huge on the market. Imagine bananas competing with any potato product on the market. Imagine it’s flour penetrating the market and replacing all wheat by-products. If you never thought of any business idea, try banana value addition!

#vaMudhumeni #Helpingfarmersgrow #Bananasonthemove #Valueaddbananas

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