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Selina Wamucii provides high quality Kenya matoke to the local and export market. Matoke, as in Uganda matoke or by virtue of growth, Kenya matoke, are some of the most essential food crops in East Africa. Indeed, their English name is East African Highland Bananas by virtue of their ability to thrive in high altitude regions of equatorial and subtropical climates. We source our Kenya matoke from family growers in Kenya and the region.
In a country like Uganda, matoke easily constitutes the staple crop with the country ranking as the leading consumer of this fruit on the planet, with statistics showing intake levels of 1.5 pounds per day for every individual. Closing in on the gap are neighboring countries like Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania, not leaving behind Kenya. The first two countries despite their small populations consume matoke in average levels of about 400 kilos for every individual per annum.
When sourcing matoke from different areas of Kenya, Selina Wamucii does not forget to also sample some of the best of these from neighboring lands especially their original home, Uganda.
The growth of plantains and other varieties takes place in various parts of Kenya and neighboring countries in the highlands for two reasons. The first one is for cooking and export, which also falls under two categories. The cooking type is usually ready when it turns green, usually four to six months after flowering, while the ripening type is usually kept under steamy or hot conditions to ripen fast for consumption. The liquor industry is also a consumer of Kenya matoke as there are organic beers that have come to form cultural festivals in Western Kenya and Uganda, typically as matoke beer.
Matoke as food is ready to eat even during times of drought through use of technology. Locals usually grind the fruit after drying it by solar-powered drying equipment and then turn it into milled flour. This can keep a family going for months during times when cereal is experiencing a shortage.
Kenya’s Kisii area is where one can learn to grow Kenya matoke because of their abundance in the region. Propagation entails removing suckers from grown plants and putting them into well-manured holes for sprouting on their buds. There are different types of vegetative cuttings you can use for planting including peepers, which are very tender offshoots with only leaves off the earth. The sword suckers and maiden suckers also provide fast germination of leaves when put to the soil in well-watered conditions.
The establishment of matoke is dependent on how land is put to use. For instance, intercropping with beneficial crops like cassava, maize, beans and potatoes can enrich the soil. For instance, beans and other legumes leave the soil sturdy with mulch and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, congenial to the growth. Bananas, on the other hand, help retain soil firmness because their fibrous roots retain a firm hold on bare soil, reducing erosion.
The best cultivation conditions include temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius and altitudes of above 1500 meters. The humidity should be around 60 percent to sustain moisture retention.
Maintenance of Kenya matoke involves use of mulching to support the growing herbaceous tree so that it can conserve moisture. The best mulch derives from vegetables that have just come off the field and legumes after harvest. You also need to stake bananas to prevent the uprooting of the large trees by wind and storms. Farmers also periodically conduct de-suckering, a method essential for reducing waste of resources in the growing plant by removing lateral offshoots and concentrating growth on the main stem. You will need to use manure other than mulch every now and then, with the best being farm manure in its decomposed condition.
Pests that affect matoke are easy to eliminate if you source for suckers from old trees that have no pest history. Quarantine of crops that are affected by bacterial wilt can also ensure that it does not affect the ones that are yet to mature. You can also prevent fungal and insect attacks by removing flowers as soon as the bunches of bananas have formed. This ensures that no flower will attract insects due to their aroma and pollen formation.
You can know when your Kenya matoke are mature by hardness of form, and the ease of breakage of the flower stalk from the fruit. The bananas mature after three to six months.
Like most other bananas, including apple bananas, Kenya matoke consist of advanced levels of Vitamin C for improved immunity, and Vitamin A for better sight. Their fiber content is high enough, at 1.9 grams per 100g of nutrition, to make for better digestion in the body. They contain 0% cholesterol, making it a great food to combat heart disease. With an Iron level of a substantive percentage, this kind of banana serves nearly the same purpose as milk in strengthening bones and improving immunity.
Whether you are in for a banana beer or a stew reeking of fresh Kenya matoke, you will never go wrong when you try our very own family grower-sourced banana produce. At Selina Wamucii, we guarantee quality, timely delivery and only the best vanguard of East African Highland bananas in the mix.
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