When bananas make it happen

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When bananas make it happen

It's eleven o'clock in the morning. He is alone on a banana farm working unstoppably. The sweat marks on his face define how hard and long he has been working today. That’s his life. Batson Kennyson remained visionary. For a decade, his dream has been to have a poultry farm and other farm enterprises which could support each other in an integrated farming system. On how and when he gets it, he owes it all to hard work. He narrates, “I have always dreamed to become a poultry farmer with my own vehicle to be taking the birds to the market. Of course, with a decent house for my family.  I only hoped to achieve this through hardworking.” 


Seeing him working at any of his farms, one would agree; he indeed persistently worked hard. His hard work strategically positioned him for other opportunities. He is now a lead farmer for his village, Matowe, and other surrounding villages in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mvama under Mbulumbuzi Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Chiradzulu district. 


The district is one of implementing districts of the Promoting Farming in Malawi (Kutukula Ulimi M’Malawi - KULIMA) Multi-Annual Programme Estimates (MAPE) which seeks to increase agricultural productivity and diversification mainly in a participatory, sustainable and climate-change resilient manner; under which one of the interventions is the distribution of disease-free banana suckers to smallholder farmers. 


The distributed clean suckers are, according to the programme, further passed on to other farmers by the primary recipients after multiplying, an approach also known as the multiplier effect.   

In 2019, Matowe village was listed as one of the benefiting communities from the programme. When the rest of the farmers were receiving 10 suckers each, Kennyson as a lead farmer received 50 clean banana suckers on 10th September which he planted three days later. From these suckers with which he established 50 mats, he has managed to establish 72 more mats bringing the total to 122 with at least three banana plants on each mat. 


The development engaged a forward gear towards the realization of his longtime dream, poultry farming. Kennyson has managed to pass on 138 suckers to some of his follower farmers and he continues to pass on. He then started selling the suckers and used the money he was getting on things pointing to his dream. He remained focused. 

“When I first sold 311 suckers for MK165,000, I renovated my house using the proceeds. The other time, I sold 83 bunches of banana fruits and realized MK530,000 which I used to pay for my children’s education and construct chicken kraals and a fence around them,” he said. 


Kennyson demonstrates the good size of a banana bunch

The profits he is getting from the banana are also supporting his other farming enterprises such as horticultural and legume production. In preparation for the 2022-2023 growing season, he bought 3 bags of fertilizer at MK136,000 for his maize field. In return, Kennyson is able to collect manure from the chicken kraals which he applies in the banana field. He commends KULIMA MAPE for teaching them the need and importance of diversified farming.  


“With this programme, we have been introduced to diversified farming. The banana crop has greatly helped me to sustain the other enterprises as it provides cash after sales almost every three months,” he explains. Carrying the day in his story is the fact that banana production with support from KULIMA MAPE has made it possible for him to start rearing chickens, a thing he has longed for a long time. William is the banana variety that he has partnered with in this journey.


“After many years of will, I finally achieved my dream of becoming a poultry farmer. The banana suckers I received from KULIMA were my stepping stone, thank you KULIMA,” he appreciates. 

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Ministry of Agriculture, P.O Box 30134, Capital city, Lilongwe 3




+265 889 558 933

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