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Uganda to lead textile studyPublish Date: Feb 21, 2010
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By Conan Businge

BUSITEMA University is to spearhead a banana fibre research project.

It will collaborate with the DKTE Textile and Engineering Institute of India.

The decision was made during a recent visit by a delegation of professors from the institute.

The university’s Banana and Development Programme conducts research into mechanical properties of banana fibre, develop methods of banana fibre extraction and designs technologies for value-addition.

The project will also set up a pilot production facility for the extraction and processing of banana fibre into textile and building the capacity of female banana farmers.

“A number of value-added textile products can be made from banana fibre. They are curtains, table cloths, table and garments,” the vice- chancellor, Mary Okwakol said.

Okwako argued that this would increase profits of the farmers and contribute to the country’s foreign exchange.

About 75% of the farmers in Uganda grow bananas and the fibre is considered as waste material after harvesting the fruit.

In September 2008, Busitema University received the Uganda Millenium Science Initiative Competitive Grant of sh2b for starting a course in textile engineering.

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