Plantain and Banana production as a food crop occupies a general third place in importance among crops in Tanzania, after maize and rice. However, it is ranked the first for some families and communities.
Problem addressed by Jagrin Agriculture Co. Ltd:
There is no doubt of the bananas market, as there is a very high demand of bananas in Hasamba, Vwawa, Mlowo, Tunduma, in Mbozi and Momba districts; and other nearby places and other big towns and cities including Dar es salaam. High demand of bananas in Songwe region is attributed by lack of commercial farming of bananas and plantains in the region, while there is rapid growth of population. As a result, there is a ready-made market without any transportation costs of produce to the market. Plenty of buyers walks in to the existing subsistence banana & plantain farms in Mbozi every day.
In addition, the introduction of banana & plantain irrigation farming in our diversified portfolio mix has added an investment which guarantees constant cash flows to the Company, on a weekly and monthly basis throughout the year.
Current practice and status at Jagrin:
- We have pilot 2 acres of land acquired in Iyenga along Mlowo river and planted with initial 382 banana plants in August 2015 and 169 plants in January 2017. Planting is underway for planting additional 400 bananas in before end of the year 2017. Start-up commercial harvests commenced in March 2017.
- We also have 300 banana plants in Hazelu farms.
The varieties in our farms by June 2017:
We are growing main three varieties of which falls under cooking bananas, dessert bananas, or roasting bananas. We had the following at mid-June 2017: Jamaica – 400; Matoke/mzuzu – 351; and Uganda green - 100
In 2016, Vwawa town was designated to be a regional headquarter town of the new established Songwe region in Tanzania. This has created a new opportunity for increased demand for food products as the town will have a rapid growth in size and population
Jagrin Agriculture Company Limited has identified that vacant niche and therefore established commercial banana and plantain farming
For better market prices, we will transport the harvested bananas & plantains to the Vwawa, Mlowo, Tunduma, Sumbawanga and Dar markets. We will also do our best for exporting to a neighboring Zambia country.
With the increased production, our target markets will be:
• Markets in the nearby towns near the farms, which are: Vwawa, Tunduma, Mlowo, Nakonde (Zambia)
• Dar es salaam
• Export markets. We will also closely work with Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and other networks for securing export orders and contracts
To expand the banana & plantain irrigation farming by acquisition of 10 acres which will be planted with 4,500 banana plants
Expected yield after expansion:
The existing and expansion will yield the Company an average of 31,200 bunches of bananas/plantains per year.