Prospective entrepreneurs sensitised to potential in banana fibre products 

TIRUCHI: Employment opportunities and sustainable self-employment opportunities in banana stem fibre products were highlighted during the day-long awareness webinar on 'Banana Stem – Generating Employment and Sustainable Entrepreneurial Opportunities' organised by the Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University, here on Thursday.

Aswini Fatehpur, Chief Executive Officer, Ishita International, Kolkatta, who participated as a resource person said banana fibre extracted from banana husks was used to make a variety of products. In particular, long banana fibre was used to make clothing, and smaller fibre for making sanitary napkins and handicraft items.

The machine for making banana fibre from banana husks costs ₹20-22 lakh. About 800 sq ft of land is required for setting up this banana fibre extraction unit and 200 sq ft for outdoor circulation (cleaning banana husks). The unit could provide employment to 10 to 12 persons and the banana fibre can be extracted from 500 tonnes of banana stalks per month.

Sanitary napkins made with banana fibre not only protect the environment but also health, he said, adding that these types of napkins are easily biodegradable. Garment factories that used to utilise 20% of banana fibre and 80% of cotton have now doubled the composition of banana fibre, he said.

Banana fibre was also used as natural fertilizer due to its high nitrogen content in the waste and capacity to protect soil fertility. He also explained about other opportunities and career opportunities in banana fibre products. More than 60 participants from different parts of Tamil Nadu participated in the event and shared their experiences.

N. Manimekalai, Director and Head, Department of Women’s Studies, elaborated on the opportunities in making of banana stalks and banana fibre products in the region.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 12:35:12 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/prospective-entrepreneurs-sensitised-to-potential-in-banana-fibre-products/article65464377.ece