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Iceland Mag

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Video: This year's Icelandic banana harvest begins, first bananas exported to Sweden

By Staff

  • A new export industry The first bananas harvested for export at Akur farm in South Iceland. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below

Last week the banana harvest began at Akur farm in South Iceland. The first bananas to be harvest are destined to be expoted to Sweden.

The very first bananas were harvested by Þórður G. Halldórsson who runs the farm with his wife Karólína Gunnarsdóttir, whose idea it was originally to grow organic bananas for export. Þórður, better known as Tóti, recorded the moment when the first harvest of a hand of bananas this year at Akur and published it on Facebook:

In the video Tóti describes the "massive" banana harvest at "The Banana Republic of Akur" and the plan to make history by exporting the first bananas from Iceland

The staff continued the banana harvest, while sampling the merchandise:

Akur has one of two major banana plantations in Iceland. The other is operated by the Icelandic Agricultural University, which has been growing bananas at its research station in Reykir in South Iceland since the 1950s.

Bananas were first produced in Iceland in 1941. Thanks to cheap geothermal energy, which heats greenhouses and cheap electricity to provide illumination during the darkest months, Iceland has been able to grow a significant harvest of bananas since then. Iceland probably still has the largest banana plantation in Europe, at Reykir in South Iceland. The banana plantation at Akur has promises a significant addition to the Icelandic banana harvest.

Read more: Iceland has Europe‘s largest banana plantation: could grow in importance due to Panama Disease

Import duties on imported foodstuffs and fruit meant the Icelandic bananas were competitive, and Icelanders consumed domestically produced bananas until the late 1950s. Since the 1960s, however, all bananas sold in Icelandic stores are imported. Whether Akur will be able to supply enough organic bananas to meet the demand of banana-hungry Icelanders and visitors remains to be seen!

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