The post-harvest technology unit of National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) has so far evolved about 50 products using banana fibre. It included banana fibre-based shirt, saris, pillow covers, yoga mats, mattresses, wall hangings, shopping bags, mobile covers, pen stand etc.
NRCB at Podhavur in Kerala has taken up research programmes for producing five more new products using banana. The products will be released within six months, according to K. N. Siva, Principal Scientist of the Centre, who is in-charge of evolving post-harvest technology for marketing value-added banana products.
Siva said that the research has been taken up after studying the demand for the products in the market. There has been an overwhelming response to the value-added products in banana and banana fibre.
The fibre-based saris and shirts form 10 per cent of the fibre mixed with the balance cotton or other yarn. The banana fibre has a capacity to absorb moisture and hence it can reduce the impact of sweat.
The post-harvest technology unit has been imparting training to entrepreneurs – individuals and members of self-help groups. A number of self-help groups are involved in producing value-added products in banana fibre.