Jane Mukupe (60), says she is now earning over $1 500 a month from banana sales. She started her banana venture in 2012 with an initial investment of 200 improved variety banana plants valued at $200.
Over the past five years, with support from Usaid, Mukupe has transformed her business. Nowadays, her day starts at 5 a.m. when she happily attends to more than 3,000 plants on 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres). Her income has increased exponentially from roughly $70 per month in 2012 to $1,500 per month in 2017.
“I am a widow. My husband died in 1980 leaving me to take care of my three children. Before I became involved with USAID, I was farming beans, maize and only a few bananas. I also had several goats and was knitting jerseys, but I didn’t make enough money to take care of my family.”
Mukupe said she thought she was too old to participate in USAID’s project, but her late husband’s brother encouraged her to sell her goats to buy banana.
“It was very difficult for me to sell my goats, since they were my source of livelihood. But when I look back today, I do not regret selling them,” Mukupe says. “Joining the project was the best decision of my life. I didn’t have a chance to go to school, but look at how successful I am now.”