Banana Fibre is No longer a Waste: EG Makes Beautiful Products from It

by | Aug 26, 2022

Training Phase (From Individuals to Enterprise Group)

The Virutcham Banana Fibre Enterprise Group comprising 15 women is located inMelamathur Panchayat in Thirupparankundram block in Madurai district. It was formed afterthe members underwent 30 days of training under the Community Skill School (CSS)initiative of the Vaazhndhu Kaattuvom Project (VKP), held during December 2021 andJanuary 2022. They learnt to make 15 different types of baskets (vegetable basket, storagebasket, and laundry basket), pencil stand, and rope, all from banana fibre. During the trainingperiod, banana fibre and mould were given by the district team for practicing, and it was veryuseful to the members. The trainer also provided marketing opportunities for the productsthey made. All the baskets they made were sold to Om Banana Fibre Crafts Ltd. in Maduraidistrict (which is the trainer's business) and they received some income from it. Duringtraining, they learned that they could make a profit from banana waste if they formed anEnterprise Group (EG).

Genesis of the Enterprise Group with Project Support

By knowing the importance of forming an EG, all 15 women trainees belonging to the samevillage (8 members are banana growers) came together as an EG and received a start-up fundof Rs 75,000/- from the Project. It helped them to invest in buying banana fibre. Banana fibrecollected from one acre of land costs Rs 15,000 approximately, and four different types ofmold are required by each person (Rs 2,000 per mold), apart from transport cost. In oneinstance, they took banana fibre from one of their members.

The Process Towards Becoming Self Reliant

Initially, for making baskets and rope, they took a long time to complete, but after 3 monthsof practice, they picked up speed. Now, in 5 days they can all produce 2,000 pieces of ropeand 200 pieces of bouquet baskets. On the basis of the order and delivery time, they willproduce it. In a month they could earn more than Rs. 1,20,000 which comes to approximatelyRs 8,000 per month per person. It depends upon the orders, of course, and the income willvary every month. The members will also sell the products in the local markets and alsowithin the district itself. They are called for making ornamental items for weddings and otherfunctions. They also get local orders from shops in the neighbourhood, apart from the ordersfrom Om Banana Fibre Crafts Ltd. The training received at the CSS has enabled them to earnadditional income as well as build their skills.


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