A local Ugandan startup wants to extract value from the leftover crop of banana, the fruit tree par excellence. The company manufactures hair extensions, rugs and fabrics from its waste.
Uganda is currently the largest banana producer in sub-Saharan Africa, and a local company He wants to take advantage of the natural fibers that are discarded in the production process. This is a material that farmers may have burned or end up in a landfill Ecological products like textiles, carpets, and biodegradable hair extensions are born.
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Texfad, founded by Kimani Motory, extracts fiber from parts of banana stems that are not used for any purpose. The procedure is simple: the tree trunks are split in half with machetes and inserted into shredding machines that turn the pieces into long leather fibers. these They are suspended to dry before being processed and used to make green startup products.
Motory began experimenting with different ideas based on banana fibers. “The hair extensions that we make are highly biodegradable. After eating them, our ladies will go bury them in the ground and it will become a fertilizer for their vegetables,” Reuters account
The startup is confident it is the “fiber of the future” and is exploring other potential uses such as Replace banknotes or even produce clothes, to replace synthetic fibers.
Bananas can be an ideal source of vital energy
Motory expects TexFad to produce 2,400 rugs this year, more than double production last year. The company of 23 employees made $ 41,000 in sales last year, its best sales since its launch in 2013. Among their next steps, they plan to export carpets for the first time in June to customers in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
Texfad is not the only company that uses banana fibers to develop environmentally friendly products. India-based Tenith Innovations is using banana leaves to produce products that would otherwise be made from environmentally friendly single-use plastics, such as cups, plates and food containers. In other countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, banana leaves are already replacing harmful plastic packaging.
Pictures | Texfad