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Training boosts confidence of self-help group women

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WITH A LOT OF HOPES: Members of the SHG at the National Research Centre for Banana in Tiruchi. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam
WITH A LOT OF HOPES: Members of the SHG at the National Research Centre for Banana in Tiruchi. Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

R. Krishnamoorthy

They are taught how to make value-added products from banana

TIRUCHI: The 10-day training that 30 members of women self-help-groups of Neithaloor, Ramayi Panayur, Viruthalayam Panayur and other villages surrounding the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB), Pothavur, underwent at the centre has raised their confidence levels to transform themselves into catalysts for improving village economy.

The centre trained the mostly semi-literate women to make value-added products by way of extraction of fibre from the stem, preparing banana flower pickles, and jam and juice from banana.

They are themselves surprised that they had let go the opportunities so far to optimise benefits from banana cultivation, by going in for manufacturing by-products.

By their own admission, they did not embark on value addition more due to ignorance than lack of will.

Basket weaving

Now that they have been exposed to the technical know how, the members have set their eyes on basket weaving from banana fibre to begin with.

Incidentally, the blended juice that the centre had recently developed promises to be a hit in the market.

Based on feedback that banana juice in itself was not savoured by the public due to the taste that had a tinge of wine, the centre had successfully created variety by blending banana juice with tomato, orange, watermelon and jamun.

Nutrition value

According to the NRCB Director M.M. Musthaffa, the juice of other fruits when added in almost equal proportion to banana juice extracted from the pulp not only enhances the taste, but also the nutrition value.

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