Sri Lanka banana waste for value added products

Mar 19, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka, which has 53 varieties of banana, has got Indian expertise under a United Nations funded project to help farmers make money by using waste from banana plants, officials said. The UNDP supported pilot project will be launched in north-central Anuradhapura, southern Embilipitiya and northern Jaffna. The United Nations Development Programme is supporting a project to convert banana waste into value added products like handicrafts and even fabrics.

Although large quantities of banana are harvested, the plants are not fully tapped and the stem goes as waste, ministry of traditional industries and small enterprise development secretary V Sivagnanasothy said.

Two Indian experts will teach farmers to convert waste into products so they become self-employed under the project.

“It will be a money-spinning activity and help rural masses to generate income and self employment,” Sivagnanasothy told a news conference.

“India is already doing it – converting fibre into handicrafts and other products like wall hangings, table mats, handbags, key tags, and even fabrics.”

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