Mbire Banana

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

Mbire is type of local banana grown in the Kagera region (Northwest of Tanzania adjacent to Rwanda and Burundi). The Mbire banana had been used by the Haya tribe long before the Independence of Tanzania.

It has different physical characteristics which distinguish it from other varieties of banana, these include very tall banana plants whose height ranges from 4 to 5 metres. It also has a mid-rib and male bad (bell) are pink, and its banana bunch weighs 20 to 25 kilograms.

Although the Mbire banana is disease and drought resistant, it is still at high risk of disappearance. This is primarily due to the introduction of new banana varieties such as Cavendish bananas, as well as the onslaught of industrialization and urbanization. There is a great need to protect this particular type of banana because it holds very important traditional and cultural values to the Wahaya . In addition it is important to protect this type of banana because unlike the newly introduced bananas, Mbire has ability to perform well without requiring industrial fertilizers and pest sides.

Mbire possesses the best brewing quality, and ripened Mbire banana produces a very clear juice when mixed with a type of grass called Omushojo (Eracrostis). This combination is normally used by the Wahaya to make a traditional beer called Rubisi. The Wahaya people greatly respect Rubisi beer which is usually used in important traditional ceremonies such as weddings, traditional rituals and funerals.

Back to the archive >




Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Wahaya
Nominated by:Reguli Damas Marandu, Aikande Kileo