Horticulture production and marketing firm, Synthesis Agriculture, has said it has secured banana markets in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe worth K280 billion.
The organisation has since embarked on a project to recruit 400 farmers to produce the fruit.
In an interview the firm’s Managing Director, Dickson Kilowe, said opportunities in banana marketing are enormous considering that currently the local market is being supplied by imported bananas.
He indicated that currently they are multiplying banana seeds and will soon enter into contracts with farmers to plant the crop.
“This is a valuable fruit because on one hectare one can grow 2500 plants, and the minimum one plant can produce is ten bunches of banana, if they sell one bunch at K1,000 it means they will make K10,000 per plant translating in K25 million in a year.
“Apart from the local market we have secured markets in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe with a demand for 8,000 metric tonnes monthly,” Kilowe said.
He said the farmers will be engaged in production, that will undergo training on October 15, to produce the right quality needed on the market.
Jane Chiwalo, A farmer who is already under contract with the firm and is currently producing bananas in Mulanje District, said she expect to benefit from the farming.
“This is not the first time I have grown banana’s, however, I am happy with the variety they have supplied me because it is early maturing and produces as many fruits as possible on one plant,” Chiwalo said.
Banana production came to a halt in the country following the banana bunchy top virus outbreak which resulted in plants being uprooted and burned.
The virus was first reported in 1994 at Thiwi in Nkhotakota district, one of the four main banana producing districts in the country.