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Obaga Benson Rioba - Master of Science in Development Studies, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Dr. Florence Ondieki Mwaura - Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya


Banana is the fourth most valuable crop in the world (World Africa Harvest, 2007). In Kenya banana is grown in many regions, but Kisii region is among the highest banana producing areas in Kenya with production of 17 tons per hectare way above the national average of 12 tons per hectare (Kwatch et al, 2002). Kisii households produce bananas for both family consumption and commercial purposes. Kisii County poverty rate stands at 59.8% (District-Wise Poverty Rates of Kenya, 2006) despite the huge banana economic potential. Selling bananas in its raw form has diminished the economic contribution of the crop in Kisii region. Banana is a highly perishable crop and farmers sell it fast and cheaply before it rots. Some farmers in Kisii Central have started practicing banana value addition to minimize losses and increase the economic value of bananas. Farmers are now producing crisps, flour, hypertension medicine, bread, jam and wine all from bananas. This has increased farmers’ incomes and generated employment and also cushioned farmers from post-harvest. The study aimed at determining the impact of banana value addition on socioeconomics outcomes of Kisii central households. The study was guided by the following objectives; to assess the impact of participating in banana value addition on household welfare in Kisii Central Sub County, to determine the impact of participating in banana value addition on selected socioeconomic indicators in Kisii Central Sub County households, and to determine the impact of participating in banana value addition on youth employment in Kisii Central Sub County.  The research was guided by the sustainable livelihood approach framework and focused on banana value addition. Stratified random sampling was used to select the sample size. The sample size was 153 respondents. The instruments used to collect data are questionnaires, guides for interviews and Focus Group Discussion. From the findings, value addition through wine processing significantly affected house hold welfare. Value addition through from juice processing had insignificant effect on house hold income. Value addition through crisps processing was significant in affecting household welfare. Value addition through flour processing had significant effect on household welfare.  From the findings, majority of the respondents from the value addition group were fully in positions to meet school fees as compared to those in the control group. From the findings, most of the respondents in banana value addition group were able to provide reading and writing books to their children as compared to those in the control group.  On health, majority of respondents who engaged in value addition as compared to those in the control group afforded medicine due to income they generated from value addition.  Majority of the respondents were self-employed while others worked in factories. The study concludes that Banana value addition influenced the house hold welfare, social economic indicators and youth employment. The study recommends that the County government of Kisii and other counties in Kenya generally motivate residents to embrace banana value addition in order to enhance the quality of living standards.  Since banana value addition enhances contribution towards NHIF while enhancing the ability to meet school fees and other expenses, the study recommends that measures should be put in place to create awareness to those people who have not embraced the practice.  Because banana value addition results into creation of factories that help in processing, the study recommends that more capital should be sourced by county governments to increase these factories that create lots of employment to youths on either permanent or temporary basis.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)