Smallholder farmers in developing countries need to improve their position in food value chains in order to improve their margins and as a strategy for coping with agricultural food price volatility through innovations within the chains. Value chain mappings and gross margin analysis were employed to assess constraints and opportunities for existing value chains for bananas in Central Africa using market survey data. The results showed weak linkages within the banana value chains with poor integration of value chain actors and minimal involvement with regional markets and high-value domestic chains such as supermarkets. Value addition in terms of agroprocessing was carried out at small scale levels using rudimentary techniques limiting the final product to low value markets. Transaction costs comprising transport, handling and storage comprised a high proportion of cost items in the value chain. Generally, the findings suggest that efforts aimed at strengthening linkages within the value chains, collective marketing, penetration into high-value chains and improved processing techniques may provide a potential avenue for enhancing banana value chains in Central Africa.


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