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Tuesday, 06 April 2010

Uganda: Experts give banana new look

Uganda is one of the world’s top banana-growing countries, producing as many as 10 million tonnes of the fruit each year, but the banana market is under-exploited. Its potential to act as a bastion of food-security and create lucrative openings for ambitious entrepreneurs requires innovation in the way the fruit is produced, marketed and consumed.  Currently, African bananas make up only 4% of the bananas sold in the European Union, the world’s largest banana importer, and this figure is set to decrease further as the EU will imminently abandon its reduced import tax for African bananas. But bananas for export are not the first priority to Fen Beed, researcher at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Internal markets should be strengthened first, he says, and to do that, a greater synergy between all the players in the banana game is crucial, especially since banana production in Uganda has actually been decreasing over the last few years.

Source: Fresh Plaza