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Banana Waste is Now becoming a Vital Economic and Environmental Opportunity in Uganda

Uganda is the world’s second-largest producer and consumer of bananas; India is the first. With a global production value of about 10 million metric tons and banana consumption of almost one kilogram per person, per day, more than 75% of Uganda’s population relies on bananas as a staple food. Now, this massive banana waste issue is becoming a vital economic opportunity in Uganda, which is developing new industries and technologies to transform banana stems into fibre for sustainable textile and handicrafts products. Community-based start-ups, such as TEXFAD, work with smallholder banana farmers who supply banana stems to the company. The banana farmers are beginning to appreciate the new value of the would-be waste banana stems, enjoying increased incomes from their banana waste upcycling and producing over 30,000 square feet of rugs each year.