A Brighter Future with Bananas: Rural Development in Burundi

Banana entrepreneur in Burundi

Veronique is a role model parent who gives her all to unlock a better future for her four children.

She yearned to take them to school, but for many years was unable. After completing the Mothers' Union literacy and numeracy program, she joined a Five Talents savings group and received her very first microloan – for $7.

That $7 helped her launch a banana selling business, which in turn helped her pay for her children's school fees, uniform, and books.

"From the profit, I pay school fees every term, [as well as for] uniforms and books," said Veronique. "For the moment, my husband sees the interest of my being part of the savings and loan association group."

Just $7 – the cost of a combo meal – resulted in Veronique being able to send her four children to school. Imagine what seventy times $7 might accomplish, here in Burundi.

Learn more about Five Talents' work in Burundi.

Bananas make me happy.


Veronique is not the only one benefitting from bananas. Over 100 billion bananas are consumed each year, providing an income for many small and medium scale farmers around the world. In fact, the average American eats almost 30 pounds of bananas per year. In the United States, the Cavendish variety of banana holds a monoply. In Eastern Africa, however, there are over 120 varieties.

The East African Highland Bananas provide an income for millions of rural poor and an acre of bananas in the region can yield over $1,500 USD. Bananas are a staple crop in many communities and provide famine resistance and a nutritional diet base.

Bananas are nutrient rich and they are the only fruit that contains both tryptophan and vitamin B6. This combination boosts mood through seratonin production.

So bananas do make you happy!

Why not become a friend of Burundi and help more women like Veronique today?