TODAY -

Banana pseudostem: A viable & environmental friendly alternative to single use plastic
Source: The Sangai Express

Tengnoupal, November 13 2019: The inauguration of Banana pseudostem fibre extraction & value addition project was held at Heingang Mayai Leikai today.

Agriculture Director Laltanpuii Vanchhong, Manipur Small Farmers' Agri-Business Consortium (MSFAC) project coordinator MS Khaidem, Ecogreen unit Coimbatore project director SK Babu, Heingang GP Pradhan K Jayanta, BJP Heingang Mandal president Kh Jilla and BJP Mahila Morcha, Heingang Mandal president W Bormani attended the function as the chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Speaking about the project to media persons, MSFAC project coordinator MS Khaidem said that the project has been taken up by Uplift People Trust Heingang Mayai Leikai under the sponsorship of the Department of Minority Affairs and under the guidance of MSFAC.

Maintaining that banana plants are frequently wasted after plucking out the fruits, he added that numerous products can be made from the plant itself including banana fibre.

The project aims to extract fibre from the pseudostem and single fibre extraction machines are used to do carry out the extraction process, he said.

He further informed that two persons, using the machine, can produce 20 kilos of fibre from one MT of pseudostem (50 to 60 pseudostems) in one day.

Around 600 kgs of banana fibre can be produced from 30 MT of pseudostem in a month, he said and added that the rate of the fibre ranges from Rs 180 to Rs 200 per kg.

MS Khaidem continued that this fibre can be mixed or blended with cotton or synthetic thread to make clothings or to manufacture other items like high quality currency, rope, security paper or wrapping paper etc.

On the other hand, while extracting fibre from 30 MTs of pseudostem, around 12 MTs residual pulp (which is left over) are used as ordinary compost or vermicompost as well.

MS Khaidem further stated that this organic fertilisers can in turn improve the production to 15-20 percent and the rate of utilising chemical fertilisers can be reduced to 30-40 percent while the sap which is produced during the process can act as a liquid fertiliser too.

30 MT of pseudostem can at least produce 10 litres of sap which is beneficial, he remarked.

Meanwhile, he continued that the tender central core of the pseudostem can be used as an ingredient or mixed with other ingredients to make candy, pickles and other eatables.

Over 3 MT of the tender central core can be extracted from at least 30 MT.

At times when the transportation of the banana plants or the pseudostems is not possible as a result of long distance or location, the extraction process can be carried out at the said location with the help of the 1.5 HP extraction machine along with a power generator.

In connection with this project, some individuals have received necessary training at the North Eastern Institute of Sciences in Jorhat, Assam, he said and added he has not encountered the official extraction of fibre in the State till date apart from few individuals who carried out the work for personal interests.

Agriculture Director, Laltanpuii Vanchhong has also conveyed that the project will be a turning point for the people of Manipur, especially for the people of Heingang.

The Director continued that the initiative will also help in reducing the use of plastic, which has been a major cause of environmental pollution, as well.

Apart from improving the catchment area, people can benefit from planting banana plants in so many ways ranging from manufacturing disposable and environment-friendly products/items to organic fertilisers.


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