A woman farmer from Manicaland’s Burma Valley is expecting to harvest 650 tonnes of bananas per hectare emerging as a shining model of success in an industry heavily affected by side marketing.

The story of Ms Lucia Mbetsa speaks of a widow who has defied odds to be one of the success stories of the Matanuska banana out grower programme.

Funding has been availed by a local financial institution and 10.5 of her 36 hectares are under banana production.

The banana crop bunches are ranging from 45 to 75 kilogrammes with a harvest of 650 tonnes expected. 

“As of now the joint venture is proving to be a learning curve that will assist us when we are weaned off. The programme is a skills transfer initiative that will leave us better off when we are weaned off,” said Ms Mbetsa.

Young Women in Business Secretary for Manicaland Ms Prisca Nyabadza said the intention is to tap into the knowledge of successful entrepreneurs and find ways to empower those that want to start their own businesses.

“As an organisation we want to have young women in the mainstream economy. As such we have mentoring programmes, assist with access to capital so that the footprint of women in business increases,” she said.

Statistics show that the country’s banana production increased 186 percent over two years from 16 000 tonnes in 2015 to 45 775 tonnes in 2017.