For entrepreneur Askah Nyakwara, processing bananas into snacks could become big business - with a little more help from the government in ironing out the wrinkles that small companies face in Kenya. David Pollard reports.
The sweet taste of success comes banana-flavoured here. The Ritoke Company's been making snacks for 9 years. Founder Askah now has 12 staff. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ASKAH NYAKWARA, ENTREPRENEUR, SAYING: "As you can see the market is growing and people now have known the product in the market." On a good month, Askah makes 2,000 dollars from processing green bananas. Her products even reach clients in Holland. Banana bread's also on the menu. And her suppliers say they get a welcome extra crust or two through the fairer prices at which she'll buy. If for Kenya, promoting growth still has challenges - this a special local government conference to address them. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KENNETH LUSAKA, BUNGOMA COUNTY GOVERNOR, SAYING: "We still have problems of capacity, some counties don't have adequate land, we also have problems of people understanding entrepreneurship." Askah wants to draw attention to what she faces. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ASKAH NYAKWARA, ENTREPRENEUR, SAYING: "The small money we are making from our processing it is taxed up to the end. You feel like leaving the business and going back home. That is the challenge we have." But she is beating the challenge. The 5 kilograms a day her company once processed now one thousand. These are government premises - production only runs for eight hours a day. Relocating and increasing that schedule would, she hopes, offer the prospect of an even more appetising future.