GUWAHATI, Aug 8 - Secretary of DoNER, Naveen Verma and Niralaxmi Palai, Regional Director, DC (Handicraft), will formally launch the banana fibre products made during a training programme conducted by the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFi), at a function to be held at NEDFi House here tomorrow.
A NEDFi release said there is a craze in the market for eco-friendly natural fibre products. Use of natural fibre enhances value and thereby ensures better return to the artisans and weavers. It has added advantage when the raw material is free and in abundance.
Banana fibre is another alternative where yarn is extracted from the banana pseudo stem. NEDFi recently concluded a month-long training programme at its Craft Incubation Centre at Khetri on use of banana fibre in handloom. In handloom banana fibre yarn is normally woven with other natural fibres like cotton and silk to achieve desired quality of the fabric. Banana fibre fabric is used for making garments, mats, curtains, bags, etc.
Though the raw material is free, the process of extraction is labour-intensive. The step involves extraction of banana fibre using a fibre extraction machine. The fibre extracted needs to be properly dried and cleaned. Thereafter each strand of yarn is taken out manually and joined with one another for its use in handloom.
C Sekar, a master trainer from Chennai who is using different natural fibres in handloom, mentioned that good quality banana fibre yarn can fetch up to Rs 7,500 per kg. Since handloom products prepared from banana fibre are in great demand, there is ample opportunity for engagement of rural households.
NE-SHILP, an NGO promoted by NEDFi, will set up a yarn bank for the same. Since extraction machinery will not be available everywhere, the NGO will provide banana fibre to interested producer groups with buy-back arrangement for the yarn. The process of extraction of yarn itself will offer large-scale employment, said a NEDFi official who is associated with the project.