Banana, the world’s most popular fruit, is cultivated on an area of 35,000 hectares in Pakistan, of which 90% is cultivated in Sindh, which produces about 126,000 tons annually. Pakistan produces banana valued at around USD 31.5 million. However, due to increasing demand, Pakistan has been steadily increasing imports. Great opportunity exists within this sector, considering the expanding domestic market and the growing international demand, particularly in neighboring countries like Afghanistan. There isa tremendous potential to increase both the production and marketing of banana through the introduction and adoption of modern pre- and post-harvest techniques.
The Agribusiness Project (TAP) is working to transform the banana value chain through capacity building for better management of banana orchards, introduction of improved packaging and establishment of pack houses. 835 rural households will directly benefit from these interventions,;111 hectares of land will be brought under improved technologies and management practices, increasing the production volume by 15% and reducing post-harvest losses by 30%.
The project has provided technical assistance to eight model Banana farms on best agriculture practices in crop geometry, scientific use of water and fertilizer, bunch care, harvesting,packaging and storage. As a result of best practices adopted by beneficiaries, visible improvements were noted in cosmetic quality and weight of Banana bunches.
- Trainings on good agriculture practices for cultivation of banana, safe use of agrochemicals and their disposal, improved packing and transportation skills.
- Follow-up technical assistance support and field based demonstrations, as well as post-harvest trainings.
Technical training in orchard management and institutional partnerships for improvement in harvesting and post-harvest practices.
- Provision of toolkits for pre- and post-harvest management, including Tyvek bags to protect bunches from diseases, harvesting tools, de-handing knives and hand gloves for improved fruit handling.
- Support for establishment of three model pack houses.
- Provision of corrugated boxes to improve the cosmetic look of the banana produce and safeguard it against pests, insects, dust and sunburn.
- International exposure visits for observation of best practices.
- Support for acquiring export, quality assurance and food safety compliance certifications for identified corporate farmers.
- Enterprise development training for strengthening market knowledge and linkages.
- Support exporters to participate in international exhibitions and trade shows.
We are confident that these practices will have an accelerated rate of absorption in our area and Sindh can have a good brand in the international market in the next few years