Central Asians Not Bananas About Bananas

According to the agricultural trade publication East Fruit, Central Asians have little taste for bananas.

Kazakhstan has the highest consumption rate but with an average of  4.5 kg of fresh bananas eaten per person, per year, comes nowhere near Uganda where
each year, individuals enjoy a whopping 270 kg of bananas.

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are  fast catching up with Kazakhstan whilst in Tajikistan, the annual banana consumption per head  is only 2.3 kg. In Turkmenistan, it appears that many citizens never touch the fruit.  Lagging far behind its neighbours, a very modest  160 grams  are consumed per head, per year; a figure which according to East Fruit analysts is even lower than that recorded for North Korea.

Not surprisingly,  countries with the highest banana consumption tend to be those  where the fruit is grown and exported and by way of explaining the above data, Andriy Yarmak, an economist in the investment department of the Unites Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated,  “Such a low consumption of bananas in Central Asian countries is due to the distance of the countries from the port infrastructure, which makes logistics very expensive. In addition, many countries in the region have high tariff and non-tariff barriers that prevent the import of exotic fruits into these regions. The third factor is the relatively low prices of local fruits, especially in the season of their mass production.”

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Times of Central Asia

Askar Alimzhanov graduated from the journalism department of the Kazakh State University named after S. Kirov, then worked as a correspondent for the daily republican newspaper Leninskaya Smen. He then moved to the United States to be a reporter for the daily newspaper "Cape Cod Times" in Hayanis, Massachusetts, (USA) under the journalist exchange program between the Union of Journalists of the USSR and the New England Society of News Editors. Since then, he has helped build transparency and understanding of Central Asia region in various executive level positions at esteemed media organizations including "Akbar"(Alma-Ata) international center for journalism, the Khabar News agency, the Television and Radio Corporation "Kazakhstan" JSC, and MIR- Kazakhstan.

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