Enhancing Smallholder Banana Farmers’ Incomes and Livelihoods
Kirinyaga County’s Banana Commercialization project, funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), aimed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder banana farmers by connecting them to sustainable markets, including high-end retail stores in Kenya and export markets.
EAMDA successfully trained 1,500 farmers on improved banana cultivation techniques. Secondly, their training on nursery sustainability model resulted in the sale of 16,250 plantlets through nurseries.
EAMDA exceeded its training target by training 11,357 farmers across all five Sub Counties of Kirinyaga County, with the help of service providers including SoilCare and CropNut Kenya. The partnership also facilitated the purchase of 50MTs of agricultural lime, resulting in higher yields for over 300 farmers.
EAMDA also established 20 demonstration plots and formed 411 farmer organizations to improve yields, leading to the sale of 7,995MTs of bananas. Additionally, the firm conducted 62 business forums and established 54 collection centers, which was a remarkable feat as the initial target was only 10. Through these efforts, farmers were able to sell 7,995MTs of bananas, far surpassing the initial target of 2,000MTs.
This project demonstrated how effective value chain development, business development, and market linkage facilitation can uplift smallholder farmers and their communities.