Kachin State entrepreneurs venture into value-added banana products

Entrepreneurs have expressed interest in venturing into the production of value-added banana products and commodities derived from bananas to explore new market opportunities, as reported by the Kachin State Small-Scale Industries Department.
U Aung Maung, the department head, stated, “We have initiated training sessions to educate banana planters on producing banana wine and jam in response to entrepreneurs’ requests. Subsequently, we plan to expand these sessions to encompass the creation of various consumer goods.”
Despite previous attempts by officials to educate banana planters on producing value-added products, the planters did not show significant interest, likely due to robust banana exports to China during that period. However, the landscape shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic when exports were temporarily halted. Upon resumption, buyers became more discerning about quality, resulting in numerous rejections and challenges for the planters. In response, U Aung Maung mentioned that the department redirected its focus toward value-added products.
The department has been disseminating technology and know-how for producing 10 banana-based food items, including wine, jam, dried banana, and chips. Additionally, they offer classes on creating garments, bags, paintings, and umbrellas using fibers derived from banana leaves and stems.
Across Myitkyina, Bhamo, Mohnyin, Mogaung, and Waingmaw townships in Kachin State, there are over 100,000 acres of banana plantations. — ASH/NT

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