Founders of start-up Greenikk, Fariq Naushad and Previn Jacob, are now providing banana of certain specification to craftspeople for manufacturing home decors (Pic. Courtesy indianweb2.com)
Having founded the start-up — Greenikk — to connect banana farmers, dealers, wholesalers and B2B buyers in India, entrepreneurs Fariq Naushad and Previn Jacob have now established a vital waste-to-value system in the banana fibre-based sector.
This Thiruvananthapuram agri-tech company seeks to provide regular supply of banana stem fibre to businessmen and craftspeople to enable them to create products that fetch lucrative prices in India and abroad without confronting issues related to its supply and uniformity.
The focus of Greenikk is on diverse home decor products and artefacts made of banana fibre. These include tote bags, clutches, handbags, tableware, mats, serving trays, tea coasters, flower vases, fruit baskets, wall décor, shades and lamps.
These value-added products made from banana fibre have a ready market in countries like the US, Spain and France among others.
To ensure proper access of fibre, Greenikk has put in place a mechanism to supply it in markets located in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Besides, they will also help train micro-entrepreneurs in these three southern States in this business.
The objective of creating the waste-to-value chain as per Naushad and Jacob is to comprehend the problems faced by the market and find solutions for it. This is expected to help and benefit the crafts and industries using the banana fibre.
The craftspeople and manufacturers of the products face the problem of procuring appropriate raw material and that too without any hitch.
Extraction of 7 kilograms of fibre requires up to 80 banana stems and to make the unit doing so profitable requires machines and regular supply of the raw material. An Ernakulam unit making banana fibre handbags had to stop production due to raw material shortage.
Another issue faced by manufacturers is lack of quality standards and specifications as fibres of different colour, tensile strength and cellulose content are available. Greenikk after testing more than 45 varieties of banana plants has identified three based on colour, tensile strength and cellulose parameters.
These efforts by the start-up have triggered increased demand for fibre for manufacturing products.