European Union will invest Sh160millon into a banana processing factory in Kisii County in a bid to support banana farming in the region.
Gucha sub County Agricultural officer, Richard Ogendo confirmed to KNA on Tuesday that the European Union had started construction of a banana factory at Kisii Agricultural training institute which will be in operation before the end of 2019.
“The European Union are giving infrastructural support whereby they are drilling water which will be used in the factory and serve neighbouring institutions and residents and put up a factory which will process bananas to produce flour, wine and animal feeds from the waste material,” Mr. Ogendo confirmed.
He said the agricultural department has started reviving the banana cooperative which has been dormant as it has been mandated to buy bananas from farmers and deliver to the factory.
Mr. David Obondo, the agricultural technical officer while taking banana farmers through a training advised them to embrace hybrid species of bananas which can endure adverse weather conditions and are disease resistant.
“The panama disease which at the moment is incurable discouraged many banana farmers from pursuing the venture further but the hybrid banana species approved and provided by Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) in Kisii are highly recommended and they will not disappoint any farmer interested in banana farming.” Mr. Obondo assured.
“This is a worthwhile project which will economically empower local farmers in the region and boost nutrition when consuming the end products from the banana itself courtesy of value addition technology.”
By Deborah Bochere