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What To Know Before You Go For A Commercial Banana Growing Venture

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Bananas are many people’s favourite delicacies in Uganda especially central, some parts of eastern and western Uganda. Hence this is one of the ventures that one would think of venturing in to get money.

However, Jane Nansubuga, a seasoned farmer from Mukono district who has three acres bananas says, says venturing into banana growing requires a lot of investment in terms of time, money, labour and above all patience.

According to Nansubuga, on an acre, she plants 400 banana stems.

Nansubuga says right from the time you dream of having a banana plantation, you must know that if you want commercial production, then you need to have a good investment.

“On my four acres, I hired three casual labourers who helped me dig the holes for planting my bananas. For each hole, I was charged sh500. After I bought three trucks of cow dung at sh150,000. I bought each banana sacker at sh1,000 so for four acres she spent sh1.4m,” she says.

Like any farmer, Nansubuga thought she would start harvesting millions in just one year which was not the case. She says she started realising the profits from her plantation after three years of investing and reinvesting.

Today, from one acre she is able to harvest 100 bunches after two weeks and she sells a bunch at sh15,000-sh20,000 depending on the market dynamics.

For you to enjoy the full harvest, Isaac Musadde, a vegetable agronomist from Sironko district, says you have to invest more than you can imagine.

He says you have to always add fertiliser (cow dung cheaper alternative) to the plantation. And when adding manure, you should excavate a basin around the banana leaving a distance of two feet.

So, when adding manure, you put it around the bananas at a distance of two feet. He says when manure is put directly into the plant, it can lead to some diseases and insects that can attack the bananas.

“You should also endeavour to mulch your plantation to retain the moisture but also water in the plantation. You should not mulch near the plant,” Musadde says.

He advises that you have to always provide manure for the bananas. And in case there is a plant that is infected, just uproot it from the plantation.

It is also good to prune the bananas and remove all the dry leaves and banana fibres and buds as these can harbour insects that can destroy the bananas.

To realise the full first harvest, Musadde says you have to wait for at least one year. Production increases year in and year out thereafter.

You should mulch the banana plantation to keep it more productive. Story and photos filed by Andrew Masinde

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