It’s been two years since the June 2014 flood destroyed over 50,000 tonnes of banana within a period less than 72 hours at Nieky plantation in Ivory Coast which has now resumed normal production.
The flood that had completely destroyed 1300 hectares of banana, which represents 22% of the national production estimated at 300,000 tonnes had completely degraded most agricultural plantations. The floods made it difficult to harvest bananas and also to transport them to the market. It had also threatened 1,500 direct jobs and 10, 000 families that were directly depending on banana cultivation.
Nieky plantation is now on the revival state after the European Union and the government came in to re-awaken the sector.
“Four million euros, of which 80% supported by the grant from the European Union and 20% was loan from the SCB. Thanks to this grant because we have been able to convert and rebuild fairly quickly what had been destroyed because the banana farming is an activity which is being done in most parts of the world,” said Minatienni Albert, ‘Sociéte de Culture Bananière’ (SCB) Secretary General.
The European Union had announced to spend 45 million Euros in Ivory Coast to revamp the almost vanguished banana production. This was also done to improve banana exportation to Latin America. This recovery has made thousands to resume their jobs at farms making them earn a living once again.
“Today, two years after we were dismissed, each has resumed his duties. Production is now good as everything is working well. You can even come and see,” Ogou Sylvain told AFP journalists.
“After the flood in 2014 we can say that everything has resumed well. We had lost almost 840 hectares to floods by then but today we have managed to recover all our land and everything is progressing,’‘ said Kouakou Yao Faustin, an employee at Nieky farm.
Two multinational subsidiaries share the country’s main banana production : la Sociéte de Culture Bananière controls 56% of banana exports whilst BANADOR (subsidiary of the CHIQUITA Group) controls 27%. The remaining 17% is controlled by local independent producers within the Organisation of producers and exporters of pineapple and banana
Banana farming is mostly associated with the Northern parts of Ivory Coast. The country is now aiming at producing at least 21,000 tons of bananas annually starting from 2019 to revitalize rural economy in the north of the country.
The project is expected to create more than 700 direct jobs and indirectly to help more than 4,000 people. Until now in Ivory Coast, Africa’s second largest producer and the thirteenth world’s largest producer of bananas, the production of fruit was limited to the wooded areas of the nation.