To discuss how to best utilize the enormous amount of biomass generated in banana cultivation by evolving technologies for its commercial exploitation, Researchers from various central and state institutions from six States congregated for a brainstorming session at the ICAR’s National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) in Tiruchi last week.
Speaking at the session, S. Uma Director, NRCB observed that a supplementary income can be created for farmers from enormous biomass produced in banana cultivation.
She said, “Biomass produced can be converted into wealth”. Also, she suggested development of clusters for mechanical extraction of banana fibre and development of fibre banks to cater to the demands of fibre industry and sustainable business models, during the meet.In this regard, she said that the banana fibre has enormous scope for commercial utilization.
Further, she added that the 2 research issues had been identified in the meet on how to improve the quality of machine extracted banana and promote their use in power looms and take them up for funding. Other applications of banana fibre in production of craters and pro-trays replacing plastics, sheets and composite boards were also discussed, she said.
During the brainstorming session, the Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, Mumbai, presented technologies for utilizing fibre based products. While researchers from Navsari Agricultural University, Gujarat, briefed on the replicable model for utilization of banana pseudostem after bunch harvest.
Representatives from the South India Textile Research Association explained the technologies they had developed for spinning and yarn making to make it suitable for blending with other fabrics in textile industry.
Researchers from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, highlighted the significance of fibre based nanofilm wraps for extending the shelf life of horticultural commodities in the shelves of super markets.
The Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Coimbatore, presented their machine developed for minimal processing of central core stem. A. P. Karuppaiah, President, and G. Ajeethan, Managing Director, TN Banana Producers Company Ltd., suggested utilization of pseudo-stem as a new vista of business opportunity.