The conference was themed: “Fostering Partnerships for an Improved Banana Subsector in Kenya” and is jointly convened by the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), the Banana Growers Association of Kenya (BGAK) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). This one day conference has the objective of bringing all actors/stakeholders in the banana value chain to discuss issues affecting the industry and find solutions.
Through its Farmer Organizations Support Center in Africa (FOSCA) and Market Access Programs, AGRA is supporting 23 produce aggregation centers across Kenya, owned and managed by farmer groups where they come together to learn about the need to start with quality planting materials and good soil fertility, effective postharvest management and collective marketing. These groups have been connected to the mobile money network and this has greatly increased their access to real-time price information and convenience in transacting with buyers. This initiative has seen both the productivity and profitability of banana farmers rise.
“The BGAK aspires to grow from strength to strength as the voice of the banana smallholder farmer in Kenya. This conference is just the beginning in encouraging networking and collaboration among all stakeholders to improve the banana value chain for the growers and various consumers, including processors,” says Thomas Mwangi, Chair, BGAK.