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A Ugandan business turns banana fiber into sustainable handicrafts
A decapitated banana plant is almost useless, an inconvenience to the farmer who must uproot it and lay its dismembered parts as mulch
MUKONO, Uganda (AP) — A decapitated banana plant is almost useless, an inconvenience to the farmer who must then uproot it and lay its dismembered parts as mulch.
But can such stems somehow be returned to life? Yes, according to a Ugandan company that's buying banana stems in a business that turns fiber into attractive handicrafts.
The idea is innovative as well as sustainable in the East African country. Uganda has the highest banana consumption rate in the world and is Africa’s top producer of the crop. Especially in rural areas, bananas can contribute up to 25% of the daily calorie intake, according to figures from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
In Uganda, eating bananas is in many ways embedded in local customs and tradition; for many a meal is incomplete without a serving of matooke, the local word for the starchy boiled mush made from banana cultivars harvested and cooked raw.