Regional agriculture officer, Simon Msoka, recently said in an interview that bananas have become a big cash spinner in various regions of Tanzania. He says in terms of business, the crop leads in Kilimanjaro Region, followed by coffee, which used to be the major cash crop in the past.
“Rombo, Moshi, Hai and Siha districts are the major banana producers in the region. However, the crop is also produced in minimal quantities on the mountain slopes of Mwanga and Same districts,” Msoka days. According to him, Kilimanjaro produces an average of 700,000-to-one million tons of bananas a year. The region aims to step up production to 1.5 million tons per year.
Despite the efforts, the agriculture officer says production of the crop plummeted from 968,060 tons during the 2018/2019 season to 852,682 tons in the 2019/20 season. Banana production declined further to 732,662 tons in the 2021/2022 season due to the long dry spells.
Msoka says there has been a strategy to create a good banana market system and sensitize banana growers on becoming members of Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (Amcos). “By becoming Amcos members, farmers will have strong tools for accessing markets for the produce.”