High demand for bananas

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Banana farming is becoming popular in Nakuru County. 

There is a high demand for green bananas in Nakuru town because a number of mothers are using them and pumpkins for weaning their babies unlike in the past when Irish potatoes were the norm.

The popular believe that bananas were better for weaning babies than other starch foodstuffs has contributed to a number of farmers at Rongai Sub-County diversifying from Irish potatoes.

KNA interviewed one of the farmers Peter Kimani who said for a long time, he only grew maize and potatoes on his farm but for the last five years, he has concentrated on bananas and he was motivated by their high returns.

“Unlike potatoes which are often attacked by various pests, bananas are studdier and they don’t require much care such as weeding and spraying,” said Kimani.

He added that for a long time, there was a perception that Nakuru was not climate friendly for the fruits but that has been proved wrong and a number of farmers were now growing them.

A nutritionist in Nakuru town Mrs. Mary Nyambane said she was aware that babies were now being weaned using bananas since a number of mothers believed Irish potatoes caused diarrhea in children.

However, she said there was no scientific proof but the poor quality potatoes with excess water might have discouraged the mothers.

A mother with twins in the town Rose Nyamoita said a nurse relative advised her not wean them with bananas instead of potatoes yet that was the only starch they seemed to enjoy.

The farmers in Rongai sell a bunch of bananas at Sh800 while in the town market and kiosks, a bunch goes for Sh1200.