Banana as a cash crop and its food security and socioeconomic contribution: The case of Southern Ethiopia
This article (PDF) in the Journal of Environmental Protection assesses the potential contribution of banana production to food and income security in Southern Ethiopia. The paper also explored the major banana production maximization bottlenecks. Interviews with 63 farmers and discussions with government officials were used for primary information. Banana production is significantly contributing to food security as well as to livelihood opportunities in Southern Ethiopia. But, technical works on the value chain of the crop are still minimal. This could have a tangible impact on the national income in terms of export earnings and food security. The result showed that, banana production was having a significant role for the well-being of the community explained in terms of food security, income source and it is serving as source of feed for livestock. However, many of the primary producers, namely farmers, are not making the advantage of production related transformations. This is a result of low savings culture of the local producers and weak market linkages and systems in the value chains of the crop. As a result, the wholesale traders are the one benefiting more than the producers. Problems associated with marketing and post-harvest handling are also identified as production problems. Therefore, community awareness development, improving production systems and developing the culture of saving could help to have a sustained impact of banana production in the region.