Black and white faces of banana value chain in Sri Lanka: a case study

I.C. Hettiarachchi, D.A.M. De Silva, A.S. Karunaratne
Banana is the most cultivated and consumed fruit crop in Sri Lanka. Our approach focused to investigate, map and analyze; mainly the costing, profit and income sharing activities of the banana value chain. Key banana producing area (Rathnapura district) market places both formal (Colombo) and informal (Embilipitiya) and three key banana types (Ambul, Kolikuttu and Cavendish) were considered for the study. Rapid market chain analysis was adopted to investigate the banana value chain. Interviewer administered pre-tested questionnaires and in-depth interviews were used to collect primary data. Of the sample 75% of the banana plantations were cultivated as monocrops while the rest was in mixed cropping systems. Large and medium scale farmers maintain large networks with market intermediaries, limited networks with intermediaries act negatively on the performance of small scale farmers. Both male and female buyers act as intermediaries in market operations and control the value chain sharing the highest proportion of the profits (32-52%). Cavendish value chain shares highest profit proportion among the farmers and it was recorded as 35% of the total profit while the farmers in the ‘Ambul’ and ‘Kolikuttu’ value chains shared 28 and 33% of the total profit, respectively. Customers in the downstream end node (hotels, restaurants, etc.) share only 7% of the total profit and act as less powerful price takers. Since none of the actors share the cost of postharvest losses, final consumers have to pay for that. Poor handling, packing, transport, storage and unethical marketing practices of intermediaries were explored as the causes for deteriorating the quality as well as the value of the end product. Further the research identified the potential of organized retailers as one consolidate intermediary handling all value chain functions able to deliver better value to the consumer compared to lengthier arms.
Hettiarachchi, I.C., De Silva, D.A.M. and Karunaratne, A.S. (2020). Black and white faces of banana value chain in Sri Lanka: a case study. Acta Hortic. 1278, 185-192
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1278.28
banana, value chain

Acta Horticulturae