Developing Banana Fibre (NITER + Prabartana)
NITER is now working with National Performance Cluster project on banana fiber aiming to introduce and develop banana fiber in textile applications. Banana fiber, which is actually a leaf fiber, extracted from pseudo-stem of banana tree. Though application of these banana fibers in textile sector is totally a new idea in our country but it has been in practice for several decades in other countries like India, Nepal, and Philippines etc. In our country, every year banana is cultivated in thousands of hectors of land. After collecting banana, rest of the plant becomes wastage. Disposal of these wastage become difficult due to fibrous materials which remains in the pseudo-stem of these trees. If these fibers could be extracted from the pseudo-stem then the wastage disposal would be easier which is again a good source of fertilizer for the farmers. Moreover, banana fiber, which has an excellent strength and durability, can be applied to diversified textile products.
To materialize this potential idea, UNIDO is coordinating NITER-Prabartana cluster project, where NITER is providing technical support like assessing physical and chemical properties of banana fiber, economic process development, product development and diversification, SWOT analysis, market research etc.