By Prossy Nandutu
While training farmers on banana value addition at the Harvest Money Expo last month, Asher Wilson Okurut a research scientist from the National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) Kawanda, advised farmers to make use of the whole banana plant and make money.
According to Okurut, one can earn from the pseudo stems. The stems can be processed into biodegradable textiles, fabrics, floor tiles, sanitary towels, animal feeds, briquettes, craft material paper bags, woven carpets, currency material and biodegradable hair extensions.
The banana fruits are used in the production of health drinks like juice, wines but are also recommended as a dietary supplement. From green bananas, one can extract starch used in bakery but also in the production of other food supplements.
For the male bud of the banana plant (mpumumpu) Okurut explained that in countries like DR Congo, it is processed into a flour used to produce soups, while in Uganda, it can be harvested and packaged as an animal feed.
The Green Banana (matooke) Resistant Starch is extracted from the green banana fruit, processed mechanically and chemically with a preference for the mechanically-processed resistant starch.
Other benefits from the green banana is that they provide dietary fiber that promotes healthy gut, bananas are also eaten row to manage colon cancer. Bananas have also been identified as good food items for weight management, help in the prevention and management of diabetes