Turning banana stems leftover from harvesting into fabrics
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.
ICOSEED (Integrated Community Organization for Sustainable Empowerment and Education for Development) initiated the banana fibre extraction and runs the production and distribution of products.
Kenya National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) provides financial support for production needs and enhances business upscaling through technical and business skills support.
Banana Growers Association of Kirinyaga (BGA-K) organises the farmers for raw material supply and gathers sites for the extraction of fibre.
2017 SAG-SEED Awards is supported by the SWITCH-Africa Green project, which is implemented by UNEP with the assistance of the European Union.
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