Fruit *and* Fiber

October 21, 2014

Fruit *and* Fiber

The internet is ripe with stories of ingenuity and perseverance. One story that bears retelling involves a group of landmine survivors from the Kasese District of western Uganda. This extremely impoverished region where “nearly 40% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day” (UNICEF, 2011) is rebounding thanks to a novel idea. While banana crops have been the region’s main source of income for many years, just recently this group began harvesting the extremely abundant fiber from the trunks of the banana plants. The fiber is then softened with water, separated, and weaved into rope and twine. The finished banana fiber product has become an ‘in-demand’ product, with upscale furniture and fashion designers lining up to buy. What historically has been a waste product is now the basis of a brand new industry supporting some of the most disadvantaged in the region. Most excellent!

About Alana Graff

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