Re: Marketing bananas in the US
Bananas here in the desert a quite a different thing than in the tropics. We get frosts most years, and the 115 in the summer is also a detriment. The Israelis grow lots of bananas, mostly clones of gran nain. So variety selection will take some time and effort. I think I will play with some...
But the other big factor is knowledge of bananas. I can quite assure you that there is no one in this area with much experience in bananas. Most growers here in the desert are larger operators who have a bunch (ha ha) of ground and playing with a few acres of bananas is not in the cards.
And of course the economics are tough. Even Richard Ha, who up until this past summer was the largest grower in the US, with about 600 ac on the Big Island in Hawaii has given up on bananas because of the high costs involved.
The speciality markets are the only way to go, and they are not infinite in their ability to take fruit... In Israel they crank out 20 tons plus per acre, Central America pumps out a couple thousand cases per ha on poor fields... that is a lot of fruit to put into specialty markets... Especially here in the desert when we really have a 6 month harvest season.