Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru had recently organised a workshop for banana farmers, processors and market players. The meet was intended to create a robust market value chain and to improve sustainability of farming by converting waste to wealth which will be beneficial to a large number of farmers.
Banana growing farmers in the region of Hadinaru village, Nanjangud Taluk, raised concern on waste generated on-field during banana cultivation. Approximately 30 tonnes of waste was generated per acre in one crop season from the stem alone.
To add commercial value to these waste, students of the institute took up the task and initiated interaction with farmers. Accordingly, CSIR-CFTRI proposed a WMM (waste to wealth) model wherein waste generated from fields could be used for fibre extraction, stem juice production using CSIR-CFTRI technology and for vermi-composting.
This model completes the sustainability cycle by bringing income from waste via fibre, juice and organic manure production. Fibre extracted from stem can blended easily with cotton fibre or other synthetic fibres to produce blended fabric and textiles. It is mainly used by cottage industry in Southern India at present.
Banana fibre also finds use in high quality security/ currency paper, packing cloth for agriculture produce, ships towing ropes, wet drilling cables etc. Whereas the juice extracted from stem has many medicinal benefits.
The proposed model is expected to give substantial income per acre from banana stem wastes with least capital investment. Accordingly, two tonnes of waste stem was brought from fields to CSIR-CFTRI and the fibre extraction, stem juice and bio compost preparation was demonstrated to the farmers.
Farmers groups, buyers, processors along with officials of NABARD, Mysuru and technicians from CSIR-CFTRI attended the workshop.
The WMM model was unveiled by Prof Ram Rajasekharan, Director, CSIR-CFTRI. N Aravamudhan, AGM, NABARD, Mysuru who was the chief guest shared information on schemes and subsidies available from NABARD for farmers.
Prof Ram Rajasekharan shared an innovation road map for banana stem juice to be part of sports beverage industries and possible products that can be made from banana fibre.