Mutahato Banana

Slow Food Presidium

Kenya

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

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Mutahato Banana

Bananas are an important food in the Gikuyu community. Every family in Central province of Kenya endeavors to have different banana varieties in their farms.

The mutahato variety is the tallest banana variety with a height of up to 9 meters. It has long leaves, and the fruits that range from 20-22 centimeters. The outer skin varies from green and yellow (depending on maturity) with white inner flesh, a curving cylinder shape with a bitter taste while unripe and sweet when ripe. It takes a period of 2 years to mature and it does well in fertile and well drained soil. It produces a delicious fruit that is eaten as a ripe fruit and can also be cooked or roasted for human consumption. The banana stem was used as fodder for animals.

In the Gikuyu community, mutahato banana was considered the best due to its high nutrition content and was therefore used for weaning babies. The bananas were roasted or boiled, chewed thoroughly by the mothers and given to the baby. This method of feeding the babies was very popular in rural areas but modernity and increased awareness on hygiene has gradually outdated it. Moreover, it was given to the lactating mother to restore their strength when ripe and unripe. Mutahato bananas were used to prepare a special meal called thiiri. Green bananas were peeled and roasted until ready. They were then cleaned (by scratching the surface with a knife) and mashed into a paste that was served in portions locally known as mataha ready for eating. This variety of banana was also boiled together with peas, mashed and given to young boys after circumcision to provide energy and strength. It was also given to breastfeeding mothers as present after giving birth. Some bunches of bananas were given during dowry payment.

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The endangered status of this banana variety is primarily due to its limited cultivation, particularly among the elderly. Locally, the availability of this banana has significantly declined compared to previous years. The banana's sap, which stains hands and clothes, hampers its competitiveness against other varieties like kiganda. Additionally, the introduction of tissue culture has compelled people to favor hybrids with quicker maturation over traditional varieties. This challenge is further exacerbated by a lack of understanding of mutahato and its nutritional aspects. The presidium is committed to assisting producers in safeguarding this native banana type and transmitting the cultivation knowledge
These is the list of farmers currently producing Mutahato Banana within the presidium:

Muhoro Nancy
Boniface Kiarie
Emmah Njeri Kibe
Evans Mungai
John Kifolo
Anastasia Wairimu
Catherina Wambui
David Mburu
Elizabeth Mwaura
Elizabeth Nduta
J. Peter Mbugua
Jacob Muchiri
James Gichia
James Kamau
James Mwee
John Matthew
Joyce Njoki
Judy Wambui
Julia Wanjiku
Loise Waithira
Lucy Nyakeru
Mary Muthoni
Matthew Ndung’u
Mugore Waniko
Nicoleta Muthon
Penina Wangui
Sabina Kafula
Susan Wanjiku
Producers Coordinator

Muhoro Nancy
francismuiaagric@gmail.com
+254721909925

The endangered status of this banana variety is primarily due to its limited cultivation, particularly among the elderly. Locally, the availability of this banana has significantly declined compared to previous years. The banana's sap, which stains hands and clothes, hampers its competitiveness against other varieties like kiganda. Additionally, the introduction of tissue culture has compelled people to favor hybrids with quicker maturation over traditional varieties. This challenge is further exacerbated by a lack of understanding of mutahato and its nutritional aspects. The presidium is committed to assisting producers in safeguarding this native banana type and transmitting the cultivation knowledge
These is the list of farmers currently producing Mutahato Banana within the presidium:

Muhoro Nancy
Boniface Kiarie
Emmah Njeri Kibe
Evans Mungai
John Kifolo
Anastasia Wairimu
Catherina Wambui
David Mburu
Elizabeth Mwaura
Elizabeth Nduta
J. Peter Mbugua
Jacob Muchiri
James Gichia
James Kamau
James Mwee
John Matthew
Joyce Njoki
Judy Wambui
Julia Wanjiku
Loise Waithira
Lucy Nyakeru
Mary Muthoni
Matthew Ndung’u
Mugore Waniko
Nicoleta Muthon
Penina Wangui
Sabina Kafula
Susan Wanjiku
Producers Coordinator

Muhoro Nancy
francismuiaagric@gmail.com
+254721909925

Territory

StateKenya