Leading producers of bananas in Kenya are Meru (19 percent); Kirinyaga (14 percent); Embu (12 percent); Taita Taveta (9 percent); Muranga (7 percent); Kisii (6 percent); Tharaka Nithi (6 percent); Bungoma (5 percent).
Kenya signed a deal with the government of South Korea to allow Kenyan farmers to export bananas and broccoli in volumes each year. 5 years down the line and Kenyan farmers have only exported 500 kilograms. What is happening?
Kenya is among the world’s leading countries in terms of banana production with annual production estimated at 1.1 million metric tons, 40 percent dessert, and 60 percent cooking varieties.
Leading producers of bananas in Kenya are Meru (19 percent); Kirinyaga (14 percent); Embu (12 percent); Taita Taveta (9 percent); Muranga (7 percent); Kisii (6 percent); Tharaka Nithi (6 percent); Bungoma (5 percent). Government should help them sell.
Now, with such a high producing power in bananas, why has Kenya exported so little to South Korea despite the deal between the two nations? The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service has attributed the low volumes to a lack of awareness by farmers.
So, these people signed a deal to supply bananas and broccoli to South Korea but did not bother to inform farmers about it. Why? Incompetency or just sheer stupidity? Why sign a deal and make it so hard for local farmers to get approvals.
Kenya in May 2015 initiated a bilateral agreement to ease access to the South Korean market for various products from Kenya, a move that saw the country allowed to export unripe banana and broccoli, which would not require pest risk analysis as it is the case with other products.
South Korea imports 70 percent of its food and in 2017, bananas were the most imported product recording 834,000 tonnes, according to statistics released by the South Korea Customs Service. Kenya is losing big on this one.