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Banana Plantations

1.      Product Description: Bananas are tropical fruits widely consumed as fresh, processed and dried in all countries of the world. Ironically while bananas are produced in the tropics, per capita consumption of the fruit is much bigger in temperate lands than in tropical countries. The highest concentration of banana consumption is in western Europe and north America where the standard of living is much higher than in any other parts of the world. Bananas are one of the fruits believed to maintain good health for people who consume it regularly. its main nutrition contents are carbohydrates and proteins which are essential for good health.

2.      Market Potential: With about 2.1 million people living in the urban centers of the Amhara Region, there is a potential of high consumption of bananas provided that the fruit is supplied to the market at affordable prices. If we assume that at least 30 percent of the urban residents of the Region can afford to consume 2 kgs of bananas per head per week, the annual consumption of the fruit will be 655,200 quintals or 6552 tons of bananas. This is about the most reasonable and realistic estimate given the low per capita income of the majority of the urban population. The Amhara Region covers an area of 170,000 sq. km. of land and has among the best suitable climate and soils for growing bananas. In fact before banana plantations were established in the Awash Valley in the 1950's and 1960's, there were many batches of banana orchards in many parts of the Amhara Region. Unfortunately these banana growing localities were not expanded to be large banana plantations. Consequently, almost all the bananas consumed in the Amhara region are transported from Awash Valley about 800 km away form Bahir Dar:- the major consumption center of the region. This increases the price of bananas in the region which makes the fruit out of the reach of the majority of potential consumers. With growing urban population and modest increases in per capita income, the demand for bananas and other fruits and vegetables will increase. For now there is sufficient demand for bananas in Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dessie and Combolcha to absorb the production of medium scale plantations to be established near the above major consumption centers.  


3.      Source of raw material/Inputs: The main inputs for banana plantations are smi-skilled and unskilled labor, land and water. These three main inputs can be secured from many localities of the Region.   


4.      Process and Technology: Once suitable land is secured, the main stages of producing bananas are preparing and producing seedlings, planting the seedlings on the plantation, watering, seeding and in general nurturing the stands of banana trees, harvesting and packing the bananas for distribution. Planting and harvesting bananas do not require much machinery and equipment. Only tractors for preparing the land for the first planting and irrigation equipment are needed for the project.

5.      Estimated Investment: For a 50 hectare banana plantation, the estimated investment will be:-

§  Buildings/shades 250 m2 at 1500/m2 .....= Birr     375,000

       (Offices, stores,)

§  Machinery ............................................ = Birr     400,000

§  Working capital...................................   = Birr     800,000

                                                                      Total   = Birr    1,575,000



6.      Benefits: Promotes self-sufficiency in the production of fruits and vegetables in the Region, improves the nutrition standard of the people, and saves regional financial resources. 


7.      Location:  Suitable areas around Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dessie and Combolcha.