Director of National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB), S Uma, has emphasised on cluster development for mechanical extraction of banana fibre, development of banks to cater to the demands of fibre industry and sustainable business models, while speaking at a gathering of researchers discussing the utilisation of biomass generated after cultivating banana.
ICAR-NRCB, Trichy, had recently organised a brainstorming meeting on ’Banana fibre: Research needs for commercial exploitation’ with an aim to boost up the banana fibreutilisation and fulfil the needs of banana stakeholders, especially the entrepreneurs involved in fibre industry. It was a convergence of researchers from six States.
Uma outlined the NRCB’s contribution on entrepreneurship development and stressed that the enormous biomass produced in banana cultivation need not go to waste as it can be converted into wealth for doubling the farmer’s income. The researchers discussed the possibility of encouraging banana fibre’s usage in power looms.
Technologies for utilisingfibre based products were presented by the Central Institute for Research on CottonTechnology, Mumbai, while South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) briefed the researchers on technologies they developed for spinning and yarn making to make it suitable for blending with other fabrics in textile industry. Navsari Agricultural University, Gujarat, briefed on the replicable model for utilisation of banana pseudostem after bunch harvest.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Trichy, and Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, have assured to support the setting up of large scale fibre extraction units. This will cater to the huge biomass produced from cultivated bananas including wild bananas, found in the natural habitats of North Eastern States, said NRCB. The meeting culminated in the identification of researchable issues and development of project proposals for tapping the enormous funding sources which have not been exploited yet. An exhibition was also arranged during the event with the displays of handicrafts and fabrics made from banana fibre.