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ICOSEED Enterprises

ICOSEED Enterprises

ICOSEED turns banana stems leftover from harvesting into fibre that can be used to make fabrics for bags, purses or table mats. The enterprise creates alternative income opportunities for farmers in the production of fibre and in the sewing of products.

Experiencing rising market prices for products from sisal in Kenya, ICOSEED searched for an alternative and realised the potential of fibre made from banana stems. The enterprise buys banana stems, a by-product of harvesting, from farmers, processes it into balls of fibre and uses them to make marketable products.

The products - purses, table mats and other accessories – target middle-class women, including tourists. Slurry from fibre extraction is given back to farmers to make manure or use it for biogas. 

  • Increase the number of farmers supplying banana stems from 400 to 9,000 by 2018.
  • Scale up the production capacity of banana fibre by buying new machinery, including additional mobile fibre extractors.
  • Diversify the product range to include sanitary towels within the next two years.
  • Establish two new production sites in key banana growing areas, Meru and Kisii, to expand and secure raw materials by 2022.

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