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Banana shirts offer newer trade ventures

Dec '07
Banana fibre shirt
After nearly 17 years, the locally produced popular product of Kerela, 'Banana shirt', is back in vogue. Credit for this can be attributed to the growing awareness and interest in eco-friendly and natural products.

Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI) has also taken copious measures to promote this product.

The plantain fibre used for manufacturing this Banana shirt is back in demand and seeking newer markets. It was because of lack of skilled artisans that export demand could not be met. However, with another opportunity at hand, Kerela is all set to make the most of it.

Earlier this year, an exhibition of rural and agro products organized by the Government of India and Exim Bank and held in Washington, displayed a variety of impressive banana shirts. Even at the expo held in New Delhi last year, the banana shirts evinced a mighty good response.

These exhibitions procured to artisans orders worth lakhs, in spite of which demands could not be met due to lack of professional hands.

In an effort to revive plantain fibre cloth manufacturing in the state, CNRI has evolved a Rs3.5-crore scheme to establish a cottage industry units. This scheme would be funded by the Exim Bank and will be implemented in association with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

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