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Exclusive yarn production from abandoned banana plant in Bangladesh

Introduction

Two Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have taken a new initiative to make yarn from the banana plant in Bangladesh. Banana fiber can be a good source of sustainable raw materials for garments production. On the other hand, it will play a huge role in the development of the Bangladesh garment industry.

yarn-production-banana-plant-Bangladesh
Figure: Two Bangladeshi entrepreneurs from Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila are making high-quality yarn from the banana plant.

New thoughts of an entrepreneur

AKM Shahedul Haque, a garments trader, and Osman Biswas who return from Dubai–together they are making high-quality yarn from the banana plant at the house of Osman Biswas. He is the son of Elahi Biswas of Mandarbaria village in Kalicharanpur Union of Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila. Jhenaidah is popular for banana cultivation. At the end of banana production, leftover banana plant parts are used as cattle feed. The rest of the banana plant is discarded.

After successful production of yarn from the discarded banana fiber, garments traders are seeing the extensive possibility of this idea which has economic potential. Enormous employment can be created through training in this sector. As a result, the problem of rural unemployment will be solved to some extent and sustainable yarn production will be possible at a lower cost.

Research and development of the new idea

Shahedul and Osman creatively started their work. Where banana growers, the environment, and they will be benefited. There is an extra cost to clean the land after banana production, they are benefiting the banana growers and environment by collecting discarded banana trees from the fields. They have designed and constructed a machine from a local workshop by investing 80,000 tk; then they are able to collect fiber and crush the cortex of a banana tree.

This machine is running through an electric motor. Primarily three women workers are working from 9 am to 5 pm. They are working with a monthly salary of 4,000 tk only. They are happy to have the opportunity to work close to home, even with this minimum wage.

One female worker is spreading cortex from a banana while another one is extracting fibers by crushing the cortex in that machine. The third female worker is washing the banana cortex with clean water and drying it in the natural sunlight. If the yarn is sold in this condition, various handicraft companies of Bangladesh are buying it as a raw material at the price of 180 tk to 300 tk per kilogram; which is so much profitable for them.

Now the entrepreneurs thinking about making yarn through the molding machine and selling it abroad. To go through this process, they have to invest around 5 million tk in this project. However, it requires government help to go forward with this new idea.

Jhenaidah Sadar Upazila Executive Officer SM Shahin said, “It is a good initiative. We will go to the spot and see the project and inform the higher authorities.”

Alternative process of making the banana yarn

The process of making banana yarn:

First step: The cortex is collected from the banana trees and then they are threshed and mauled by the machine.

Second step: It is washed with clean water and dried in the natural heat of the sun.

Third step: Then it is dipped in a solution of bleaching powder, after that it is squeezed out of the water and then it is dipped in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and softener after completing this mixing step it is dried in the sun.

Fourth step: After drying the raw material is given into the molding machine and the molding machine produced cotton and then finally by using this cotton with a spinning machine they can make yarn.

Using this process, the project has so far been able to produce a few ounces of fiber.

Conclusion

There is a high demand for this banana fiber in the international market. It is a fully natural fiber being used for various purposes including making bags, shoes, shoe products, traditional share, etc. Handicrafts are also made by using this fiber.

Since banana production level is high in the district Jhenaidah, Raw material is easily available there. Authorities should step forward to bring the success of this project.

Also, some leading Bangladeshi textile factories are making banana fabric. Zaber & Zubair Fashion Fabrics Limited for instance is making eco-friendly banana fabric. Which are highly strong, have high moisture absorption capability and are biodegradable.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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