For the domestic Ugandan markets, price and income elasticities for fresh product of Matooke, are low. Productivity increases are not likely to yield revenue increases for farmers but will rather crash prices on markets, at least in the short term. This is attributed to poor market structure, especially brokers who buy bunches at the farm gate and the resulting conduct like re-negotiation of prices, default in payment, all yielding in uneven distribution of market revenues. Farmers obtain only 17 % of the retail price per bunch of banana, whereas the rest goes to agents (14 %), brokers (13 %), wholesalers (13 %) and retailers (16 %). Transport costs account for about 15 % of the consumer price and thus for about 80 percent of the whole costs.
Despite the fact that Uganda holds the second rank in banana production as per international market is concerned, it ranks 40th in total banana exports. Uganda ranks first in 'plantain' production, yet holds an insignificant 16th rank in 'plantain' exports. In desert banana production, Uganda ranks 23rd, and 38th in trade .This indicates that Uganda exports much more desert bananas (1560 mt) than 'plantains. This low exports is attributed to its poor knowledge on international markets concerning potential trading partners, prices and quality aspects as well as regulations like the EU, Poor controlling and accounting, Lack of national quality control and certification bodies:
Samples of ripe bananas (Gros Michele, FHIA 17, FHIA 23, and Cavendish) have been tested with 124 traders and consumers. An MSc. student is estimating a hedonic pricing model for new desert banana cultivars. Trials are continuing in four markets in Kampala city. Preliminary results indicate that among the new varieties, FHIA 17 is the most preferred cultivar. However overall preferences show that consumers still prefer Gros Michelle compared to all available dessert bananas. The average retail price per cluster is UShs 1196 for Gros Michelle; 1256 for FHIA 17; 982 for FHIA 23. Cavendish commands the lowest price at 832 UShs per cluster (1800Ushs ~ 1$). Demand is increasing for FHIA 17 and FHIA 23.
The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.
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