Somalia’s Banana Exporters A Happy Lot As Security Improves
Banana exporters in war-torn Somalia are a happy lot. After more than two decades of civil war, bananas are making a comeback, CCTV Africa reported.
Fighting in the horn of Africa nation has subsided in recent years mainly due to intervention by African Union forces helped by local federal government forces to drive Al Qaeda-linked Al shabab militants from most part of the country.
This relative peace after a long while has given banana farmers and traders a chance to grow and export their produce to the Middle East and EU markets.
Banana export was once a thriving business in Somalia and the country was the largest exporter of the crop in East Africa before war broke out in 1991.
At its peak, over 12,000 hectors of land was used to produce the crop and employed about 120,000 people. Currently the country grows bananas in less than 3,000 hectors mostly for local consumption, Somaliland press reported.
Somalia’s banana is still a preferred meal in many Asian countries including the United Arab Emirates and Iran due to its pure organic taste. Researchers also say that bananas from the country are resistant to major pests and diseases while the riverine soil they are grown in is rich in nutrients.
The export of banana has however come with some consequences. Locals have had to content with higher prices for the crop in the local market as foreign demand cause a shortage in the country of origin.