|Thursday, 21 July, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru|
|Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI), Mysuru, is now focussing on banana farmers to help them create a robust market value chain and to improve sustainability of farming by converting waste to wealth. Approximately 30 tonne of waste has been generated per acre in one crop season from its stem alone. The proposed model is expected to give substantial income per acre from banana stem wastes with least capital investment.
The institute has asserted to work on establishing semi-processing units through farmers and self-help groups (SHGs) with the support of government and various agencies, transfer of technology to agri enterprises, and training and creating a network amongst them for ensuring proper returns to farmers and growers.
Banana growing farmers in the region of Hadinaru village, Nanjangud taluk in Mysuru district, raised concern on waste generated on-field during banana cultivation. To add commercial value to this waste, the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR) students of the institute took up the task and initiated interactions with farmers of Hadinaru village.
Accordingly CSIR-CFTRI proposed a WMM (Waste to Wealth) model wherein, the waste generated from fields could be used for fibre extraction, stem juice production using CSIR-CFTRI technologies and for vermi-composting. This model completes the sustainability cycle by bringing income to farmers from waste via fibre, juice and organic manure production, according to Prof. Ram Rajasekharan, director, CSIR-CFTRI.
Fibre extracted from stem can be blended easily with cotton fibre or other synthetic fibre to produce blended fabric & textiles. It is mainly used by cottage industry in southern India at present.
The banana fibre also finds use in high quality security/ currency paper, packing cloth for agriculture produce, ships towing ropes, wet drilling cables and so on. Whereas the juice extracted from stem has many medicinal benefits.
Accordingly, two tonne of waste stem was brought from fields to CSIR-CFTRI and the fibre extraction, stem juice and bio-compost preparation was demonstrated in the institute to farmers.
Farmers groups, buyers, processors along with officials of NABARD, Mysuru, and technologists from CSIR-CFTRI attended the workshop. The WMM model was unveiled by Prof. Rajasekharan.
According to N Aravamudhan, AGM, NABARD, Mysuru, there would be schemes and subsidies available from NABARD for farmers.
Sharing an innovation roadmap for banana stem juice, Prof. Rajasekharan said that going by its nutritious content, efforts were on to explore marketing it to beverage industries specifically designed for sportsmen. The institute was also researching on possible products that can be made from banana fibre