Banana plantations are a plenty in the bordering areas of Gujarat, near the towns of Dharsimel, and Maninageshwar. The farms are plush green throughout the year. After the cultivation and harvest, the remnants of the fruit plantations are also quite useful – from the liquid content, to the fibres. With an 85% liquid content and the fibrosity, the banana plant’s stem is full of nutritional value, along with fibres, that can be used for various purposes.
After the banana fruits are harvested from the plant, the fruits are plucked out and taken to the farmer’s market to be sold and transported to various places around the state.
The parts of the plant that remain behind are the leaves and the stem. The stem is about 8 – 10 feet long, and is rich with nutritious 85% liquid content. Since the plantations go on for the entire year, the stems are cut out as and when one grows to the potential, and are taken to the nearby fertilizer plant.
At the fertilizer plant, the stem is first cut into several pieces, and slowly the liquid is extracted from the stem which goes into the fertilizer tank, after being centrifuged at a high speed. Further organic additions are done to this liquid which is kept to formulate in the tank for a few months, after which Amrutam, our liquid fertilizer is produced. This has been patented by the Navsari University.
The remnants of the stem from the liquid are fibres that are then dried out completely. The various centres of the foundation then use these fibres to make utility and lifestyle products including yoga mats, hats, and more. Presently, we are also looking at the possibility of making handmade paper from these banana fibres.