Banana Production in Uganda
Banana is a staple food and a food security crop in Uganda supporting more than 13 million people. Both smallholders and commercial producers grow the crop. The production remained stable in past years, with annually 4.5 million MT production on around 1 million hectares. While banana production is countrywide, the Western and Central regions produce nearly 80 percent of total production.
Banana Varieties in Uganda
Uganda grows about 50 varieties of bananas while the cooking banana (matooke) type of East African highland banana subgroup accounts for about 93%. The other cultivars include the dessert bananas Sukali Ndizi and Bogoya and plantain cultivars Gonja for roasting while Kayinja and Kisubi are for making juice or beer. The Gonja variety dominates the banana imports and typically comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.
Consumption of Uganda Banana
Uganda’s per capita consumption of Musa banana is among the highest in the world at 0.5 kg. About 70% of Uganda banana is consumed at home by the producers, 20% is sold fresh to the traders and the rest goes into processed markets. Matoke is highly starchy and full of carbs, helping sustain energy levels for a very long time. The word “matoke” is synonymous with the word “food” in Uganda. Matoke is harvested green and can’t be eaten raw. People usually peel and wrap the matoke in the plant leaves, steam it for a couple of hours and then serve it smashed in a fresh leave while eating with a sauce made of vegetables, ground peanuts or meat. The processed products of bananas in Uganda include beers, wines, juices, pancakes, and confectioneries. In addition, banana chips are more popular with consumers of higher income.