• Mogadishu

  • Friday, March 8, 2024 at 6:02 AM
    Last Update : Friday, March 8, 2024 at 6:02 AM

Somali Banana Sales Recover After Improved Local and International Marketing

(AWP) - Somali banana sales are seeing a revival following the efforts of local traders and businesses to improve their marketing both locally and abroad, capitalising on their established reputation for quality among neighbouring countries.

Bananas used to be at the forefront of Somalia’s exports. Farmers in the south of the country were known for cultivating them for centuries – a trade that was halted by the civil war.

Harsia Abdullah manages a company that aims to meet the local demand for bananas, improve its quality for exports and provide hundreds of job opportunities for Somali labour, especially female workers.

She explains that her company has grown significantly and is now a business partner of many hotels, restaurants and markets in Somalia, providing bananas at reasonable prices.

She explains, “There is a huge difference between what the company was a few years ago, and what it has evolved into today. Many people depend on the company, which has provided job opportunities for more than 500 Somali women, 250 of whom work daily. The company is working on training university graduates in this industry.”

Banana cultivation in southern Somalia is highly regarded due to its quality and lucrative financial returns. The cleaning operations do not require physical strength, making it suitable for female workers.

Milyun Ali Muhammad finds her work as a banana cleaner at the company satisfying, especially compared to more physically demanding labouring jobs available in the country.

She said, “We work here to provide for our children and, thank God, we get a daily wage that suffices us. Cleaning bananas is the simplest job for us compared to the hard jobs available in the country.”

“Men help us with the work and carry the heavy plastic crates after filling them with bananas because we are not strong enough to carry them. We just clean the bananas while the men cut them and put them in the water basin.”

Team leader Omar Othman Mohammed explained, “I am the leader of this group. These bananas are transported from the farms by trucks. We work on cutting the bananas, cleaning them, and then placing them in refrigerators until they ripen.”