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Inaugural conference to explore banana farming

23 October 2013, 18:58

Nairobi - More than 300 experts will later in the year convene in Nairobi to discuss key issues affecting the banana sector.

The inaugural event is scheduled for the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Headquarters.

The conference will be held under the theme, “Fostering Partnerships for an Improved Banana Subsector in Kenya.”

The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), the Banana Growers Association of Kenya (BGAK) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) are organising the event.

Participants will be drawn from including from government, agricultural research institutes, non-governmental organizations, regional bilateral institutions, development partners, financial institutions and farmer organizations.

Delegates will focus on how best to address issues hampering the growth of the banana sub-sector and jointly identify practical solutions that will facilitate a more coordinated banana sub-sector. Specifically, the delegates will evaluate the value chain from production to post harvest management, marketing and value addition through processing.

Highlighting the government’s increasing recognition of the banana sub-sector’s contribution to food security and income generation, Felix Koskei, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Development will officially launch the Banana Sector Development Strategy during the conference.

“The government is proud to launch Banana Sector Development Strategy and participate in the conference. We look forward to increased incomes and food security for growers from a strengthened banana sub-sector,” he said.

Thomas Mwangi, Chair, BGAK, said the organisation aspired to grow as the voice of the banana smallholder farmer in Kenya.

"This conference is just the beginning in encouraging networking and collaboration among all stakeholders to improve the banana value chain for the growers and various consumers, including processors," he said.

Jane Karuku, AGRA President, "AGRA will continue working with the BGAK and other stakeholders to improve the banana value chain – from supporting the production and uptake of improved planting materials to promoting better postharvest management practices such as quality grading, storage and collective marketing."

-CAJ News


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