Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI) is looking at exporting more Samoan organic dried banana’s to New Zealand. The women-led development organisation currently supplies to two markets in New Zealand and the rest of the produce is sold locally. According to WIBDI Executive Director and Co-founder, Adimaimalaga Tafunai, they use misiluki bananas which are organically grown.
“We have 667 organically certified farms in Samoa and the majority of them plant misiluki bananas. So we have many farms who supply us,” said Tafunai.
WIBDI originally began exporting fresh organically certified bananas to New Zealand. However, after about twenty shipments of bananas and with some advice and support we began trying the dried bananas,” Tafunai said.
A partnership with Oxfam and New Zealand Company, All Good Bananas resulted in WIBDI exporting organic dried bananas to New Zealand.
The process involves harvesting mature green misiluki bananas from organically certified farms in Samoa. The bananas are left to ripen at a facility in Nu’u. Once the bananas are ripe, they are dried in electric driers, tested for moisture content, packed and then shipped to New Zealand.
Misiluki bananas are naturally sweeter and Tafuani says they only use organically certified limes or lemons in the process. One of the major challenges for the business is a consistent and adequate supply of misiluki bananas. Tafunai hopes there will be more facilities and resources in the future.
She says with more resources and research, WIBDI will be able to produce more and find additional markets for its products
Posted: Tue 11 Jul 2017