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Locally grown bananas to be Okinawa City specialty

Date Posted: 2011-03-24

Banana pies, banana ice cream and other processed products from a locally grown banana that’s being promoted as Okinawa City’s own are catching on at both the Water Japan Company and the Crown Hotel.

JA Okinawa City, an agricultural cooperative company, is spearheading the project to make the locally grown bananas popular under the billing “rare domestically grown bananas” in the Central Okinawa City. Already, JA has distributed 1,500 banana seedlings to farms in the Okinawa City area. First planted in spring 2010, the JA team is forecasting an initial harvest next month of10-15 tons.

Once in full production, JA and a private organization comprised of seven Okinawa City companies, The Koza, plans a ‘sixth industrialization’ to bring out the best of the industry. The goal is to shift banana farms and processing centers to Okinawa City. Bananas are grown only in Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, and areas of Okinawa.

Hiro Miyagi, The Koza’s representative, says “we want to promote development of processed goods such as powder, which will increase demand for business use.” The banana products are now being sold at the Crown Hotel in Okinawa City’s Uechi district, and at Water Japan Company in the city’s Kubota district.

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