Ghanas Bananas

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It’s official. Ghana’s going bananas.

Literally, in fact. While the rest of us have enjoyed only a casual affair the humble fruit, this one African nation has emerged into a global banana heavyweight, increased its banana exports from 4,000 metric tonnes to 65,000 tonnes per annum in the last six years. So if you thought Bananarama were a big deal (as anyone who’s lived through the 80’s will shamefully testify), than just wait until the world receives the full brunt of Ghana-Bananarama!

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Unfortunately this emerging Banana Republic isn’t responding to any massive surge in market demand. In fact the opposite appears to be happening, with EU banana prices collapsing in recent years due to worldwide overproduction (looking at you Ecuador) leading to bananas being sold at below cost production. Of course, everyone’s doing what they can to pull back the oversupply and stabilise prices, including reducing exports by as much as 30 to 40 per cent. Still, if banana farmers keep churning out their goods at this rate, we’ll have a repeat of the Brazilian coffee drama in the 1920’s that saw mass warehousing of bean supplies in ports. Much of this coffee supply was ultimately destroyed after the market collapsed, triggering the Great Depression. But let’s not speculate too long on that..

What is definitely well worth speculating on however, is the potential for value-adding activities to enable the local Ghanaian banana industry to innovate its way towards bigger and better market opportunities. Agritrade points out that bananas can be value-added at origin by being dried, frozen, provisionally preserved or even prepared into banana juice, banana flour, meal and powder. Ask Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh, why Ghana’s still only concentrating on exporting fresh bananas and she’ll tell you that the high international standards in packing supply reliability, marketing and crucial market access make it impossible for many local entrepreneurs to capitalise on this potential market opportunity.

This is the point where Moyee Coffee has stepped in, seeing the potential in value-adding to Ethiopia’s coffee at origin to roast in Addis Ababa. Check out the latest developments here!

Source: African Farming.net, Agritrade, Global Site Plans, Hyline Exports