In a bid to restore the banana industry, ASWAp-SP II through the Department of Agriculture Research Services (DARS) has intensified banana macro-propagation and community orchards. According to Harold Katondo, Horticulturalist at Bvumbwe Research Station, DARS has produced over 40,000 suckers since ASWAp-SP II started, thus from 2018/2019 growing season.
Among others, commercial farmers like Ovillella Mkhupela of Chilumba farm collaborates with the Zomba District Agriculture Office and has since planted 1500 William banana variety on his one-hectare piece of land.
I decided to venture into banana production because I know that farming is business, and I believe that there is a lot of money in the banana industry – says Mkhupela.
Mkhupela – I believe there is a lot of money in the banana industry
Smallholder farmers are also multiplying their clean banana planting materials in their communities. Peter Mose from Mchinji district is among such farmers.
“I was given 100 suckers, but now I have more than 160 banana tree. I will keep multiplying because I have seen the benefits in banana production,” says Mose.
To date, a total of more than 600 hectares have been put under banana production by 11,213 farmers with 53.8% women in the implementation districts.